Hidden in Plain Sight: How COVID-19 Revealed the Need to Incorporate Wearable Devices Into Patient Care
- June 01, 2020
- Jane Blaney , Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
As COVID-19 has spread across our country and the globe, patients are seeking medical care from behind the safety of a screen, through telehealth. The volume of telehealth visits has skyrocketed since March 2020, exposing a substantial hole in this manner of care: the ability to monitor patients remotely. Recent innovations in wearable devices provide promising benefits to fill this hole and should be assimilated into patient care. Utilizing wearable devices in remote patient care can be a catalyst towards the ultimate triple aim of health care: to increase patient access, reduce overall costs, and increase the quality care. Despite these benefits, changing the standard of care in medicine can be an arduous task. Additionally, wearable devices still face regulatory challenges in gaining classification as a medical device, practitioners face barriers to reimbursement, and there is much uncertainty regarding the ability to protect patient privacy when using wearable devices. Despite these barriers, COVID-19 has disrupted modern day medicine in ways that the population could not have imagined even six-months ago. Addressing these issues will be key in enabling effective care through remote treatment methods and telemedicine.
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