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Medical Wearables are the Next Phase of Healthcare

The consumer Wearables market has risen in size and scope over the last ten years or so. Wearable technologies, ranging from GPS watches for amateur sports to wristbands that measure your sleep, are revolutionizing the way people track their fitness and health. As these devices become more sophisticated and capable of monitoring their users’ vital signs, the lines between consumers and patients are beginning to blur.

Not only are digital health tracking technologies being utilized for general ‘wellness’ objectives, but also illness management – connecting people with healthcare practitioners and proactively alerting any difficulties. The Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated this trend, which is somewhat unexpected. According to a new study by Stanford Medicine and Rock Health, the pandemic accelerated digital use, both in terms of Wearables and other telemedicine tools.

In a study of over 8,000 persons in the United States, 43% stated they possessed a wearable device, up from 33% the year before. More than half of those who used the wearable (51%) used it to manage a diagnosed health problem, up from 29% the year before, and 54 percent tracked a health parameter digitally, up from 42 percent in 2019.Dr. David Nickelson, VP of healthcare at Nerdery, a digital health company, believes in a genuine shift in how these devices are used. He also added that the new wave of adoption comes from ordinary people who realize they need to take better care of themselves, not from the “worried well.”

Nickelson said, “In the past, Wearables were primarily used by folks who are already interested in tracking health and wellness – athletes and the ‘worried well’. Before Covid-19, while people with chronic diseases would often buy these devices, they would stop using them within 30 to 60 days. The Stanford report found that Covid-19 seems to have changed that.”

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