More Than Fitness Data—Harnessing the Power of Wearable Health Tech

By March 4, 2016News

As fitness trackers and other wearable health technology has exploded into the healthcare market, many companies have turned their efforts into developing similar medical-grade devices. One of the hurdles has been securing approval by the FDA.

FDA regulation offers a vote of confidence that their devices do indeed improve health, and may potentially encourage insurance companies to cover the devices. A recent Forbes magazine article reported that the wearables market is expected to hit $6 billion in 2016. The FDA is preparing for an onslaught of applications for approval. Fortune magazine reported that they were adding senior staff focused on digital health.

Start-ups have been developing technology to help monitor diabetes, heart disease patients, sleep disorders, epilepsy symptoms and more. They are looking to provide real clinical benefits that go beyond fitness.

Beyond collecting general health data, medical wearable companies will need to also be able to develop the kind of data analytics that can help healthcare professionals make sense of the information and come to actionable conclusions that can impact care, outcomes and population health.

Industry regulations are requiring healthcare companies to harness the massive amounts of data being collected on patient health from a wide variety of sources, and wearable technology is just one piece of the puzzle. Having the kind of technology that can provide actionable insights from that data is critical.

CXO Challenge at HIMSS16

emids wrapped up its Second Annual CXO Challenge at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas. This step challenge between executives at the conference serves as a meaningful example of how wearable technology is helping shape the healthcare landscape.

Wearing Jawbone UP2s, participants’ steps were tracked via the Jawbone app, and the winning CXO will receive $10,000 in charitable funds—$5,000 will be donated to charity of the winner’s choice, and $5,000 will be donated to the HIMSS Foundation, which provides scholarships to health IT students, supports special projects in the HIT field, and more.

Congratulations to Dave Notari, CEO of Innovation Health, the winner of emids Second Annual CXO Challenge with 98,851 steps in two-and-a-half days! Haden McWhorter, SVP, CTO at Premise Health came in second place with 71,020 steps, and third place went to Matt Hawkins, President of Sunquest Information Systems, with 68,155 steps. Congratulations, everyone! Look for more details next week.

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