With vendors such as Apple, Fitbit, Microsoft and Nike bringing wearable technologies to market, industry analysts are predicting explosive growth for these devices over the next few years-and not just with consumers. Physicians are seeing the devices as a way to better manage patient care. Yet the question remains: Will the use of this technology on a greater scale result in improved health outcomes, particularly for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease?
While there's little evidence to date that wearable health and fitness tracking technology alone can change behaviors and improve outcomes-especially for those patients that need it most-sensors that continuously measure variables such as body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, cardiac activity, blood sugar, blood oxygen and sleep patterns are being adopted en masse. And depending on how quickly wearable data collection and data analysis matures, the devices may soon be helping a lot more people stay healthy.
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