USA Today published an article on wearable devices today written by Dalvin Brown that addressed a real concern for physicians. Devices like the Apple Watch or Fitbit can provide a lot of wearables data but many clinicians don’t know what to do with it. The article, Doctors say most metrics provided by your Apple Watch, Fitbit aren’t helpful to them, points out that “while more and more of us are wearing fitness trackers, doctors are still trying to figure out what to do about data provided by wearables.”
Spencer Health Solutions’ Chief Scientific Officer, Alan Menius, had a few thoughts to share on the “data dump” dilemma.
He agreed that large amounts of data presented to clinicians piecemeal may be less helpful than patients hope when tracking activities with their wearables.
What can be helpful to doctors and patients are summary results of health indicators over time presented in an easy-to-digest format. With spencer® Smart Hub, patients can use Bluetooth-enabled devices to measure and record their vital statistics. The auto-recorded measurements are collected and organized into easy to read graphs that help show trends over time.
Additionally, with spencer® Smart Hub, patients answer health status questions similar to questions often asked by their doctors. Those answers are then presented in aggregate, along with a record of medication dispensing. This opens an informed – and data-supported – discussion between doctors and patients about whether they are taking medications as prescribed and any effects they may be experiencing.
Keep on tracking with wearables. And for those individuals taking multiple medications to manage chronic conditions, we believe spencer is the right platform to deliver wearables data for meaningful health management discussions.
Janet M. Kennedy is a healthcare marketing and social media professional. Janet is the Senior Digital Brand Manager for Spencer Health Solutions and hosts multiple podcasts including Get Social Health and People Always, Patients Sometimes. She is a member of the External Advisory Board of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network.