ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. could reach a “critical mass” of physicians using patient-generated data from devices like wearables by 2020, according to a report by the Consumer Technology Association.
“As health insurers and employees begin to use technology to incentivize subscribers to improve their health, consumers will take a more active role in their own health care,” said Dr. James Mault, vice president and chief medical officer, Qualcomm Life and chairman of CTA’s Health and Fitness Technology Division, in a statement. “This enables the medical professional community to deliver patient-specific precision medicine, and move from episodic care to a continuous care model based on real-time health data.”
The report draws from secondary research and a series of interviews with key U.S. health care industry stakeholders, including physicians, insurance industry executives, clinical informaticists and digital health technology experts.
CTA said physicians report that patients like using wearables as part of their care because the technology feels less prescriptive than medications, and the use of wearables in clinical trials has become an emerging part of the research toolkit.
The report also found that consumers like that insurers are offering free wearables and cash incentives to subscribers who meet certain health goals.
“More consumers than ever are now harnessing wearable technology and personal data, giving them a greater ability to lead healthier lives,” said Steve Koenig, senior director, Market Research, CTA, in a statement. “Connectivity is one of the driving trends of our time—whether that’s remote care or wearables or anytime/anywhere access to information. By using this connectivity to cultivate and analyze individual data, healthcare can be more personalized, more democratized and ultimately more effective.”
The report also found that among the challenges to rapid acceptance within the medical community of patient-generated data are the lack of integration with Electronic Health Record systems, and concerns about standards and efficacy of the health and fitness trackers on the market today.