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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Mar 25 2013   9:14PM GMT

Smartwatch: next on physician wish list?

Posted by: RedaChouffani
coocoo, iwatch, mhealth, mHealth devices, Motoactv, smartwatch

As more rumors of Apple’s “iWatch” float around the internet, there’s little talk of the other products that already occupy the crowded market. But smartwatches are interesting for a reason: they could be valuable to both patients and staff.

Just like mobile devices, smartwatches will inevitably make their way to healthcare facilities, and should be taken seriously once there.  In today’s market, mobile devices allow patients to manage their own treatment, medical information and conditions. They have provided them with the ability to collect data through a variety of sensory data capture features including glucose levels readers, heart monitors and other vitals tracking sensors. The question remains, can smartwatches do the same?

While smartwatches can be potentially limited by their size and/or processing power and batter life, they still offer easy information access and the ability to operate with other mobile devices. Plus, they don’t have to be taken out of a pocket to be used.

Some smartwatches offer:

  • Alerts and notifications: These range from SMS, call alerts, emails, appointment reminders and other third-party notification apps that pertain to health information, such as medication and vitals.
  • Controls: Enticing for sports fans in particular, smartwatches offer controls for playback, among others.
  • Sensory data capture:  Many smartwatches contain the ability to track heartbeat monitoring, location and connectivity with other vitals data.

Not only can they be used as fashion accessories, smartwatches can also be used for mhealth. There are currently a number of smartwatches available, including Pebble, Motoactv, I’m watch, Metawatch, Cookoo – not to mention the rumored iWatch and thus, a possible Google watch as well. The products indicate a growing market, and innovation will continue to increase.

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