The Friday Five – The Doctor, Patient, Fitness Tracker Relationship
For years nutritionists, dietitians, trainers and doctors have been telling us to write down and track what we eat and to exercise for a prescribed amount of minutes in order to help us lose weight. While pedometers have been around for quite sometime, wearable fitness trackers like the Fitbit came on the scene more recently as well as apps like Lose! and MyFitnessPal, all of which help us to easily track the aforementioned with the click of a button or even just by taking a walk. Now that we have all of this data at our fingertips, how can we use it to truly improve our health and well-being? Slowly but surely doctors are starting to see the benefit of trackers and the information they hold. This week’s Friday Five debates the future of wireless trackers and healthcare, the good and the bad.
How to Educate Patients About Fitness Tracker Best Practices
Kareo’s (@GoKareo) Go Practice Blog offers some tips for doctors when discussing the use of trackers with patients. Doctors should be sure to guide patients in how to properly use their device and the data it collects.
The next wave of fitness wearables will send data directly to doctors
While the numbers of people purchasing fitness wearables seems to be on the rise, the number of people who stick with them and continue to use them is on the decline. Here we see the likely intersection of wearable medical devices and fitness trackers. The two may soon be married providing doctors with a wealth of important information to help their patients live healthier lives.
Patient Monitoring, Big Data, and the Future of Healthcare
A growing number of doctors are beginning to see the value of fitness trackers in how they are able to treat and understand their patients. Some have already seen the benefit of using them to monitor the lifestyles of obese or cardiac patients. Others view wireless trackers as a game changer that will provide the healthcare field the “opportunity to shift its focus to one of keeping the public healthy and anticipate health issues before they become a problem” rather than simply treating sick patients. Skeptics see trackers as an invasion of privacy that may one day be used against them.
Wearable Health Trackers – the Integrative Doctor’s New Best Friend
Dr. Paul Savage believes fitness trackers can “help patients get off the sidelines and become active participants in their own health.” This type of motivation may be just what the doctor ordered to help patients make healthy choices and stay on track. He also delves into where fitness trackers fit in when it comes to corporate wellness, insurance programs, healthcare research and even EMR integration.
Physician Use of Patient-Generated Data Can Reach “Critical Mass” by 2020, Says CTA
Consumer Technology Association (@CTATech) recently released the report, Wearable Health and Fitness Technology in U.S. Medical Care, and the findings seem to predict a definite role for fitness trackers in healthcare. Some key findings note physicians report that their patients would rather be “prescribed” a wearable over medication and insurance companies are offering free devices and cash incentives to meet certain goals.
BONUS: Fitbit talks to NHS about fitness trackers, but no firm plans have been revealed
Maybe Fitbit hasn’t seen the CTA report mentioned above. While I’m not sure I want to be as beholden to my fitness tracker as I already am to my smartphone, I think a deal with NHS would do wonders for the company.
— Tatyana Fedotova PhD (@TatyanaVF) March 9, 2017
ICYMI – Our other Friday Fives.