The future of Wearable Devices.
Over the last decade, wearable devices have gained tremendous momentum. Starting from GPS watches to tracking the athlete’s performance and tracking individual sleep patterns, wearable devices have challenged the human way of living and become a part of everyday life.
These wearable devices were performing great just as lifestyle products but now they are being integrated into the medical world as well which is blurring the boundaries between the consumer and the patient.
In addition to tracking wellness, these digital tools have proved to be super helpful for disease management because they connect the patient directly with the Healthcare Provider.
Many countries are using wearable devices as a part of the COVID-19 management system such as providing a tracking wearable device to incoming international visitors.
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has boosted the usage of these products. A recent survey by Stanford Medicine and Rock Health concluded that the pandemic has significantly increased digital adoption. This trend doesn’t just apply to wearables but also to telemedicine tools as well.
Digital health tracking tools are being used not only for general ‘wellness’ purposes but also for disease management – connecting patients with healthcare providers and proactively flagging up any issues.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic has expedited this trend. A recent survey by Stanford Medicine and Rock Health found that the pandemic kicked digital adoption into high gear, both concerning wearables and other telemedicine tools.
Because of the Pandemic, these wearable devices have now become part of life and are no longer a style statement. A senior MedTech leader stated that there is a dynamic shift in different types of device usage. At first, fitness enthusiasts used wearables to track their performance and wellness, but now, the ‘Worried Well’ generation has adopted these product types widely. Understandably, many patients with chronic conditions are utilising these wearable devices.
Experts speculate that, in the future, these devices will be highly sophisticated and will routinely include advanced machine learning features. However, patient data and health insights will be the primary source of success and as a result, companies will be able to provide enhanced services, improving patient experience.
Since wearables are here to stay, it is important to think about the challenges. Many wearable manufacturers believe that their product is a wellness product and has nothing to do with medical device regulations. But with changes brought in by MDR on 26th May 2021, wearable and SaMD have new classification policies. Apart from the regulatory concern, the biggest challenge is cybersecurity. Highly sensitive patient data will be collected and monitored by these devices. The matter of trust will play a crucial role in the wide acceptability of wearable devices.
Manufacturers and wearable businesses will have to change their business model. As per a recent study from Deloitte, the synergies formed between Medical Device and Technology will need a new business model. In this model, all the operations need to be patient-centric. Therefore, crucial business decisions need to be taken to ensure an efficient and positive patient experience.
It will be interesting to see how wearable devices shape the MedTech world in the times to come. If you are a Medical Device Manufacturer or any other Manufacturer wondering about the correct classification of your innovations, feel free to connect with our experts.
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