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Medical wearable devices could transform the healthcare industry with continuous and real-time monitoring, providing quicker diagnosis and treatment of conditions. To date, lifestyle and fitness wearables have proliferated and few steps have been taken to incorporate medical wearables into the healthcare system. Waqaas Al-Siddiq, Biotricity CEO & Founder, discusses how successfully implementing medical wearables in a healthcare system depends on overcoming two key problems: providing medically relevant data and incorporating wearables into current billing practices.

Problem #1 – data

Medical wearables must demonstrate that they provide precise and clinically relevant data for physicians to effectively utilize in patient care. Waqaas explains, “Physicians will not risk the possibility of misdiagnosing or mistreating the patient based on the possibility of utilizing inaccurate and inconsistent data.” The copious amounts of patient data generated by medical wearables likewise raises concerns about security, privacy, and access to data. Wearable technology companies should incorporate security and privacy mechanism into their solutions. Healthcare providers should also carefully consider who has access to patient data and how their medical practice can take steps to protect private health information.

Problem #2 – billing

Successful implementation of medical wearables in healthcare depends on the availability of an existing billing code, or the potential to obtain one. In 2018, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin implementing new payment rules that will allow providers to bill for remote patient monitoring (RPM) tools, including medical wearables. CMS is careful to distinguish RPM tools from telehealth in general, emphasizing the need for “active devices” that provide real or near-real time patient generated health data. Healthcare providers, too, should make sure that their wearables meet the requirements as defined within specific billing codes, and that their devices receive subsequent FDA approval.

Read the entire article here. Waqaas’ article is available on HIT Consultant. HIT Consultant is the leading source of healthcare technology news, analysis, and insights for healthcare executives, physicians, and providers. Their content provides editorial insights on health IT, EHRs, population health management, digital health, telehealth, accountable care, patient engagement and start-ups.