We have entered the era of the connected patient as shown by the Apple Watch and other wearable devices that gather data seamlessly and continuously. Along with mobile health applications, they promise to extend medical care further into people’s lives than ever before.

This is a relatively new development. Clinical data collection and communication used to be relegated to brief patient-doctor interactions during a clinic or hospital visit. But it is impossible to thoroughly support the health of a patient if most of the patient’s life is inaccessible. Early successes with blood glucose and cardiac monitoring showed the nascent value of home-based data collection, but we need much more. The ubiquity and power of data collection and communication heralds a needed transformation in healthcare.

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