Technology

CTA Gives Patients, Doctors Guidance on Health-Focused Wearables

By / Jan 10, 2020 (Nastasic/E+/Getty Images Plus)

The Consumer Technology Association teamed with the Heart Rhythm Society to produce a guide on how to best use wearable devices to monitor and manage personal health, unveiled in a special health tech education track at CES.

Another CES has come and gone, and in addition to all the gadgets and new technologies that were on display in Las Vegas during the week, the Consumer Technology Association released a new resource to help consumers make sense of health-focused wearables.

The whitepaper—produced in collaboration with the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and presented as a part of CES’s Disruptive Innovations in Health Care educational track—offers information about the wearables market, guidelines for how to best manage and share data gathered on a wearable, and advice about privacy and security of personal health data.

“Chronic diseases are increasing in prevalence, and wearables help people monitor their health to aid in earlier diagnosis and better management of their conditions; furthermore, they provide information to the user that fosters a healthier lifestyle,” HRS President Dr. Andrea Russo said in a news release.

“Wearable solutions are one of the fastest growing sectors in technology,” said Rene Quashie, CTA’s vice president of digital health. “And as more consumers capture personal health information, a cross industry-created guidance document has never been more important to provide clarity on the potential health and wellness benefits of wearables.”

The wearables market is booming, with sales expected to reach the $10 billion mark this year, CTA says. Health-related wearables include everything from smartwatches to fitness trackers like the Fitbit to more recent technologies like smart glasses and smart clothing. As the guide notes, the earliest wearables mostly tracked basic data about exercise, but today’s more sophisticated devices monitor biometric data such as heart rhythm, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.

The “Guidance for Wearable Health Solutions” white paper—which was produced with the input of physicians, patient advocates, healthcare organizations, and technology companies—is free to download with registration.

The consumer guide comes a few months after CTA released voluntary guidelines related to protecting the privacy of personal health information for manufacturers of wearables and other health-tracking devices.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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