Despite growing demand, some physicians are skeptical about healthcare wearables: 3 report insights 

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Innovations in artificial intelligence and sensors are helping patients detect and manage chronic health conditions, but not all physicians are fully on board with the popular technology, according to a recent Deloitte report. 

For its Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2022 report, Deloitte analyzed insights from healthcare and other industry experts to assess predictions for digital innovation. 

Deloitte Global predicts that 320 million consumer health and wellness wearable devices will ship worldwide, with that number reaching 440 million units in 2024 as more healthcare providers become comfortable using them. The prediction covers both smartwatches, which are marketed for consumer purchase, and medical-grade wearables, which are typically prescribed by a clinician. 

Despite growth projections, some healthcare providers are still wary of integrating wearable technologies into practice. 

Here are three insights as to why physicians are still skeptical about using wearable technology to monitor patients' health:

1. Data access. Clinicians aren't interested in using wearables if data from the devices isn't connected to their organization's EHR. Only 10 percent of physicians said they have integrated data from patient wearables, leaving clinicians unable to access the data or having to enter it manually. 

2. Data accuracy. Some physicians do not trust data from consumer wearable devices; for example, the FDA and other global regulators have cleared a smartwatch application that can alert patients who have already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation when they are experiencing episodes. However, the capability is less useful as a mass screening tool and has generated many false positive results. 

3. User error and anxiety. If a wearable device is not worn correctly, it may generate inaccurate results. Some who use wearables to monitor their health can also become too focused on vitals such as heart rhythm and pulse rate, which can cause anxiety-induced physical reactions that mimic conditions such as atrial fibrillation.

 

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