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The integration of wearables in telemedicine for remote patient monitoring

Article-The integration of wearables in telemedicine for remote patient monitoring

Canva telemedicine
The comfort and convenience offered by telemedicine are the new standards patients seek.

Telemedicine has revolutionised the way medical assistance is provided globally. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the adoption of digital healthcare solutions, which continued to gain prominence due to the convenience of remote diagnosis and personalised care.

The opportunities in digital health have paved the way for several innovations in the industry. The integration of wearables into telemedicine is one such step in the direction of remote patient monitoring (RPM), given its potential to enhance patient outcomes by seamlessly capturing patient data in real time and assisting them in making informed decisions.

Dr. Matthew Gettman, Chief Medical Officer at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SMMC), said that the demand for telemedicine and wearable medical technology is projected to grow at a substantial rate by 2027 across areas of chronic disease management and diagnosis, elderly care and fitness management.

‘’Given the high rates of chronic disorders in the UAE, patients living with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are more likely to adopt innovative digital healthcare solutions that support monitoring and managing their conditions effectively. Through its robust infrastructure and its vision of having a nationwide provision of telemedicine healthcare services, citizens and residents of the UAE are bound to benefit from managing their health through innovative means. To help support this, SSMC is working towards combining medical practice, education, and research to explore new technologies, innovate new treatment methods and streamline processes to transform the delivery of care in the region,” said Dr. Gettman.

The global RPM systems market is predicted to be worth over US$ 1.7 billion by 2027. At present, global healthcare systems are increasingly adopting RPM technologies to streamline the exchange of information between patients and caregivers. Devices such as glucose monitors prompt diabetes patients to take their insulin, simultaneously allowing their physician to monitor the disease. Additionally, digital blood pressure monitors allow patients to digitally share their blood pressure and blood oxygen level with their doctors.

In the UAE, GluCare.Health, a hybrid digital therapeutics company for diabetes management and obesity, allows patients to connect remotely with a care team member. The application collects data from connected devices, such as Fitbit, continuous glucose monitor (CGM,) or a connected weight scale and displays them on the app. The care team can then monitor patients’ data, provide information on glucose, sleep and activity, and manage medications.

Brandon Rowberry, CEO of Digital Health, Aster DM Healthcare, said that the demand for telemedicine in the region has rapidly increased since the pandemic. He believes that the wearable technology industry is still in its infancy and, in the future, will be pushed from the consumer to the healthcare side, wherein data recorded by the devices will be used to develop in-depth insights and data ecosystems, thus encouraging people to stay healthy.

As the industry continues to introduce groundbreaking technologies in day-to-day operations, the use of these solutions will prove invaluable in making the healthcare systems more efficient and significantly simplify medical processes, thus reducing the stress of the clinical staff.

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