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Should Doctors Embrace Wearable Technology?

Dr Peter D Weiss Rodeo Drive Womens Health Clinic
Grayson Brulte Brulte Company
July 10, 2014
Today, wearable technology is not geared toward the medical profession, but focused on the “quantified self” movement and individuals interested in their overall health.
As wearable technology continues to evolve and more people start using wearable devices to track their steps, weight and activities, ​doctors and healthcare providers will be forced to play catch up​and fundamentally re-think how they currently approach practicing medicine; the majority of wearable devices are consumer products, not medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This causes certain doctors to view wearable devices as little more than “toys.” This is a short-sighted view, showing little understanding of what the technology is capable of as it relates to health care, no vision for the future of wearable technology.

These doctors will have to fundamentally re-examine the way they approach practicing medicine. Healthcare is shifting away from a “Doctor Knows Best”industry to a patient first industry that is being disrupted by innovation and the overall consumerization of the healthcare field.

Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on
June 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Individuals taking a more active role in their personal health are driving the consumerization of healthcare. This is done by using wearable devices to track everyday movements and weight fluctuations. Noticing this growing trend in the marketplace Intel has started to develop new chips that are capable of tracking in-depth, everyday consumer health data.

Data gathered by these devices will open a new revenue stream for forward thinking doctors and healthcare providers who are moving to a concierge business model. Doctors and healthcare providers will be able to charge patients a monthly-fee to help guide them through the process of making intelligent decisions based on their everyday data.

The role of the doctor will be to guide and advise on how to interpret the everyday data. In our previous article we wrote about the role doctors will play new as wearable technology evolves. That role is still going to continue to evolve and change as healthcare continues to evolve and moves towards a patient-friendly industry both on the medical and insurance side of the business.

Companies such as Oscar Health Insurance in New York City are making the health insurance process more consumer friendly, all the benefit of the patient.

Meanwhile, companies such as Apple with their recent announcement of HealthKit and Google with their recent announcement of Google Fit and Nike with their Nike+ initiative are moving healthcare toward a patient-friendly industry.

All of these technological advancements will ultimately end up benefiting patients if they are willing to use the technology and share that health data with technology companies and doctors.

Will wearable technology make us healthier? Not necessarily. However, wearable technology will create new industries and business built around a healthier you.

And it will be the innovative, forward thinking doctors and their medical business partners who identify this trend early and adapt their current business models and medical practices to benefit from the latest global trend in technology.

Dr. Peter D. Weiss, M.D., F.A.C.O.G is the co-founder of the Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Clinic and an assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at UCLA School of Medicine. Grayson Brulte is the Co-Founder & President of Brulte & Company.

Should Doctors Embrace Wearable Technology? was originally published on Ideas Lab