Providers Play Catch-up with Internet of Things, Wearables

While the healthcare-related Internet of Things (IoT) market is set to explode (read the blog post) in the next three years, it turns out that today only a small percentage of providers actually have the services in place to receive and act on the health information wearables collect.

An article published earlier this year on Wareable points out that the information collected by health trackers is throwing the healthcare industry out of balance. Wareable interviewed the Director of Digital Medicine at the Scripps Translation Science Institute who said: "Accuracy isn't as much of an issue. It's because it's outside of regular practice. And we have a fitness care system, so most physicians don't want to do it."

That’s a problem because healthcare consumers are buying wearables, downloading health apps like crazy and seeking physicians who will integrate the information into the course of treatment.

In 2016, 25 percent of consumers in the United States were using a wearable health device or smartwatch, according to Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm. Onto those devices and others, 200 million health/fitness apps were downloaded in 2016 by U.S. consumers, a 5 percent increase from the previous year, according to the firm. The top apps downloaded globally were fitness related, with disease and treatment apps close behind.

Finally, 38 percent of all patients say they would choose a primary care physician based on their ability use wearable data to improve and manage health outcomes, according to a 2016 Harris Poll/Salesforce survey. At 50 percent, Millennials are the most likely of any age group to select a doctor based on their ability to use data from a wearable, the survey found.

“Of those insured adults who own a wearable, 78 percent would want their doctors to have access to health data from their wearable devices, so providers can have a more up-to-date view of their health,” Harris Poll found.

Will providers be able to catch up with patients to meet demand and increase market share? They’ll have to move fast if they want to participate in the future.
 

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