The Food and Drug Administration has just approved the first medical accessory for the Apple Watch. It's a wearable - AI powered - EKG monitor made by a company called AliveCor. This is huge news for the wearables market that is still trying to grow beyond the fitness and wellness phase to the valuable medical grade wearables market.
“AliveCor is in many ways an AI company masquerading as a health company,” AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra says. “The headline is really not that they gave us clearance on the KardiaBand. They gave us clearance for our algorithms.”
Just the fact that FDA approved a deep learning algorithm to start proactively monitoring our health is amazing in of itself. As an added bonus, AliveCor managed to fit the EKG type device in an Apple Watch band! This is essential to their success to mass adoption. We have already noticed that people as hesitant to wear multiple bands to monitor different health metrics. This is a great step in the right direction.
Wearables combined with powerful algorithms won't be replacing your doctor anytime soon, but it does help with the proactive health revolution. As this market grows and these devices mature, the power of your own healthcare will because increasingly predominant.
As the Holiday season approaches and the New Year just around the corner it's likely that your health and wellness has been (and will be) in the back of your mind more frequently. Now, most of theses thoughts tend to gravitate around diet and excercise, but what about other health concerns? And what about the rest of the year? As information and technology continue to help change the healthcare landscape we can't help but notice more people take a more proactive approach to their health.
As information and technology can immensely provide better outcomes and healthier lifestyles, it can also create a deluge of information that can send your average consumer down a path of contradiction and discovery. As GenZ starts to mature, we are noticing that they are using available information to help change their perception on traditional concepts. Take exercise for instance. Watch late night TV and you will inevitably notice plenty of weight loss commercials promoting the latest diet supplement or exercise trend. They are targeting a reactive audience. "You got your body in an un-healthy state, let us help you reverse that".
Thinking of your overall health and wellness in a preventative manner requires a shift in perception. Younger generations are now looking at how to use exercise to treat other ailments like stress and illness. Taking this even further with the help of technology, consumers can now take more traditional health related testing in their own hands, like lab tests. Even though they will likely still need to consult a physician to fully understand results, they can get a brief in-depth overview of their own internal body metrics without leaving the house.
As we know, Doctors have a few gaps in how they engage with their patients.
The biggest issue currently is that providers only see patients once every few months. This leaves huge gaps in their patients care plans. The doctor is left to trust the accuracy and efficacy of the patients memory and perception to compile an accurate picture of their lifestyle that the Doctor can use to work with.
Without the proper and accurate data to fill in the details of these questionable times that the doctor is not present, The Dr is ultimately left to include a lot of guess work in applicable treatment plans.
QZ.com recently posted a great article on how important fitness and health tracking is and what impact it can have to doctors and how those improvements can have huge impacts on the care plans, effectiveness, and impact of treatment.
As devices evolve, and new kinds of sensors are built in, they can do what some targeted, wearable medical devices, such as blood glucose meters and cardiac monitors, can already do: Things like checking your breathing rate, stress level, and different types of brain activity will fill in all the blanks when it comes to patient care.
By collecting, sharing, and using the data that is already generated, we are building a highway that leads to healthier patients with less doctor downtime.
In the comments below, tell us what you are doing to integrate technology to become healthier.