The Impact of Wearables – HTF Innovation Conference 2016 Highlight
When you think of wearable technology in the medical space, it’s clear that there are a lot of opportunities for significant and measurable change. Look at some of the technologies becoming available now, or just emerging over the horizon – think artificial pancreas systems with insulin pumps and continued-use glucose monitoring, electrocardiograms, and of course, smartwatches that can monitor what seems like everything. There are a lot of openings there for making health information more accessible to patients, and more available for providers.
At least, according to Yarmela Pavlovic, JD, partner at Hogan Howells and the moderator for the HTF Innovation Conference 2016 panel on the impact of wearables. The panel, focused on wearables and accompanying concerns about cybersecurity, provider accountability and consumer interest, featured four professionals from varying fields: Beatrice Podtschaske, PhD, and visiting professor at Stanford; Valeska Schroeder, Sr. VP of product management at Vital Connect, Inc.; Arun Villivalam, MD, CEO at Los Gatos Doc Inc.; and Marta Gaia Zanchi, course director of Bio Design for Mobile Health at Stanford.
Each fielded questions from both Pavlovic and a large audience, responding to concerns, implications and hopes with their own distinct knowledge. Here are some highlights:
Podtschaske: [from a series of surveys she and her team administered about wearables and consumers’ willingness to try them] “There’s a lot of curiosity and acceptance. They seek to be very willing to try things and especially [have] a lot of interest in wearables. The patients were interested in wearables if they thought it was useful for their providers to keep providing their care.”
Schroeder: [speaking of her own work with Vital Connect] “A lot of feedback now is there’s so much data coming out of these devices…[consumers and providers] don’t know what to do with it…We’re looking at improving that filtering, improving how data is presented.”
Schroeder: [regarding concerns over cybersecurity] “There’s no reason why your wearable needs to know your name. That kind of connection doesn’t need to be made at all…De-identifying the data for as much of the process as you can is a good philosophy.”
Villivalam: “In my experience, the folks that come into my practice wearing their wearables are usually the ones that are pretty healthy…[The people who don’t use them are the ones who aren’t on track to get to the health level they want to be at] Wearables haven’t really tapped into that market, so I think there’s a huge opportunity there, to figure out how to get people more engaged. That hasn’t been answered.”
Zanchi: [she’s most excited about wearables that are condition-specific and] “used in the context of enterprise, care-delivery in which there is inefficiency in communication.”
You can find the full video here.