Consumers are becoming more willing to engage in self-care through the use of wearable smartwatches, smartphones, IoT devices, etc. The health sector, in general, has been slow in the adoption of this digital technology, which is why consumers are taking matters into their own hands.
As the Samsung chief medical officer, Dr. David Rhew pointed out, a standout amongst the most ideal approaches to associate with your customer in term of health is to utilize devices that they interact with daily, such as mobile phones, smart home appliances like a connected cardio machine.
The role Smart devices have to play in digital healthcare delivery
In the nearest future, we could see connected-home tech play a part in safeguarding the wellbeing of the consumers, for the time being, tech giants are focusing on wearable devices like smartwatches as the focal point of their healthcare blueprints. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active, which was released this February shows the company’s increasing interest in monitoring health. The smartwatch comes with an application called My BP Lab, created to inform the user of his blood pressure level.
Samsung is not alone on upping its game in its interest in health: Apple of recent also added an EKG to its smartwatch. Although, Apple smartwatch is set to look out for atrial fibrillation (AF), a medical condition that affects 3 in 100 individuals and could lead to stroke, Samsung is monitoring high BP. A raised blood pressure is dangerous and affects almost 1 in 4 people, it could also lead to stroke, heart-related disease, as well as many other critical conditions
Just like atrial fibrillation, a lot of people that have this condition hardly know about it, however, blood pressure is different to AF, people who suffer from high BP can enact measures to checkmate their condition without consulting a medical expert.
There are scant details about the working mechanism of the application or its level of accuracy, which makes it hard to estimate the level of impact it is going to have (given that BP is hard to measure beyond the medical context). Notwithstanding, the app has been created with the University of San Francisco, and users can participate in a research project run by both organizations, this program will monitor both the user’s blood pressure and stress levels.
So both Samsung and Apple’s consumers possess a smartwatch that could potentially be a lifesaver with life-changing analysis without the support of a medical expert on their medical condition.
Are Tech Companies neglecting their customers to their own diagnoses?
As Rhew said, developing technology is quite important so is the appropriate use of that technology, and to achieve that it will take a collaboration between the tech providers and all other stakeholders involved.
Along with this line, Samsung is devising guidelines in conjunction with medical bodies on what should be the next point of action.
Rhew explained that what is going on now is that technology has advanced very fast, and as such, the healthcare providers and other vital stakeholders now know that there is a need to fill the gap with guidelines and info. Part of the information will be for the healthcare providers about the way to go about the prescription and use of the technology, and the other part will for the consumers.
Even thou consumers may be seeing the load on the public health sector progressively moving to their personal gadgets, Samsung is looking beyond that, into an area where social care can be delivered by users technology in our homes also. During this year’s CES, Samsung unveils a variety of service robots which include Bot Care- a concept device designed to help with daily household chores as well as monitoring health.
Although a lot of companies are diving into the digital health and wellness technology, a minority are only looking into social care, even thou it is presently at the developmental stage for Samsung. Nevertheless, health and social care issues are interconnected. For example, an elderly with a poorly equipped home lacking adequate social care will end up coming over to the hospital over and over again; seniors that have a lot of health challenges will require a higher level of social care, and they stand to lose their independence.
In a way, big Tech Companies are looking to transform smartwatches and wearable devices into health-monitoring gadgets, and also change the way they pay for them. So instead of a customer making a onetime payment for a new device, insurers and healthcare providers work on subsidizing the price for their clients.