Do you wear a health-tracking device like a Fitbit, smartwatch, Jawbone or MisFit? Have you ever wondered if your doctor could use the information it gathers?
It turns out that your device records an astounding amount of information about you—unfortunately, most of the time, your doctor can’t use all of that data. Just analyzing it would take hundreds of hours. In addition, wearables aren’t accurate enough for medical assertions to be made. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate wearable devices that promote general wellness—like weight loss, physical fitness or stress management—and doesn’t intend to regulate them in the future. The only wearable devices that need FDA approval are those intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of disease.
However, that doesn’t mean that physicians have abandoned using data from general wellness wearables. Instead, they are using the devices for more illness-specific purposes. The Wall Street Journal reports that David Cook, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and his colleagues, have used Fitbits to track activity levels of cardiac-surgery patients. Wearables are great for tracking blood pressure, weight, pulse rate and other factors after cardiac surgery or heart failure.
Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. recently announced plans to build platforms that collect data from apps and wearables that medical providers will be able to use.
The challenge is for wearable fabricators to find ways your doctor can easily interpret the data your wearable collects on you. The value will be when your doctor can look at your fitness data and then prescribe a certain level of activity that can then be customized into your wearable to help you reach your goal.
Staying healthy beyond your wearable
At CarePlus, we encourage you to keep wearing whatever device you use to track your fitness. Keep moving, eating right and striving to be as healthy as possible.
We also encourage you to sign up for CarePlus. As your free healthcare concierge service we’re here to help make getting your healthcare needs met as easy as strapping on your Fitbit. When you sign up for CarePlus we’ll help you by providing:
- appointments quickly
- faster access to your medical information
- referrals to specialists and pre-authorizations to assure you’re covered
- assistance with your insurer and answers to your insurance questions
If you’re interested in learning more about CarePlus concierge service, please contact our CarePlus team at 201-884-5329 or email us here.