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MGMA Poll: Providers Not Yet Using Data from Patients’ Wearables

June 20, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Just 6 percent of healthcare professional respondents indicated that their practices were currently using data from patients’ wearables, while 81 percent responded they were not doing so, according to a new survey from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Most of the participants in the poll—which included more than 1,110 responses—who were currently using data from patients’ wearables stated they were using the information during patient visits to engage patients in their health status and to set activity goals. Only a few indicated they received data directly from a device and used the information to monitor the patients’ health. Fourteen percent of respondents said they were “unsure” if their practice uses data from patients’ health wearables.

What’s more, practice leaders whose organizations were not using data from patient wearables were asked if their organizations planned to use this information in the future and 9 percent indicated they would do so in the next year. Another 11 percent stated it would be two or more years before they anticipated using data from wearables. The majority (51 percent) of this group said they were not sure and 29 percent said their practices had no plans to use the technology, according to the survey data.

Other recent research has backed up the notion that while patients are willing and interested in using wearables for health improvement, providers are not really using the data in a clinically meaningful way. A recent survey revealed that 41 percent of Americans have used innovative technology to help manage their health; mobile apps and health and fitness wearables rank as the most popular technologies being used.

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