Wearables medically relevant but not without problems

  1. Chou began the conversation with a confident "definitely" in response to whether wearables are medically relevant, and more experts chimed in -- including the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security and Kim Towne, digital analytics manager and risk management coordinator at Fathom Healthcare, a digital marketing and analytics agency -- echoing Chou's ideas.
  2. Not only are patients more motivated to take charge of their health, thereby pushing the adoption of wearables in healthcare, but some doctors recommend wearables and even prescribe certain apps to their patients.
  3. Furthermore, wearable data is now beginning to be ported into major EHRs, furthering their medical relevancy.
  4. As wearables become generally affordable, more people are likely to use them for their healthcare needs.
  5. However, there are still concerns when it comes to wearables, as participants discussed in the tweet chat.
  6. First, the flood of data -- or "data tsunami," as Chou referred to it -- is a big obstacle. Not all data is good or helpful. Sorting through the information that wearables generate to find value presents a challenge. However, some health IT professionals believe data analytics will play a key role in overcoming this challenge.
  7. Second, protecting the privacy and security of patient data is a longtime worry, especially because healthcare organizations are mandated to comply with regulations like HIPAA.
  8. However, confusion continues to surround HIPAA, including what counts as personal health data and what exactly the privacy law protects.
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