Docs show little interest in mobile data tools, wearable devices

Innovative mHealth activity devices, and wearables promising to help patients stay healthy, may be proving alluring to consumers, but it'll take much more evidence of real benefit to get doctors and providers on board.

Physicians are not only worried about accuracy of the data being collected, but are also concerned about data sharing practices, privacy issues, and technology requirements, according to a VentureBeat article.

As FierceMobileHealthcare recently reported, a new IDG Connect survey reveals the global healthcare industry is not keeping pace when it comes to mobile device security, specifically unsanctioned device and app use. Unauthorized device use and data leaks were cited by 60 percent polled as a top security concern.

Additional reasons for doctor wariness is the lack of a connection on how devices and data collected by apps will fit into the current healthcare reform and the role of emerging clinical data systems being developed by tech titans Google, Samsung and Apple.

All three tech giants announced healthcare efforts in the past six months, with Apple debuting its HealthKit, Samsung announcing a digital health initiative and Google cited as "best positioned of the three to build a consumer friendly data management platform. The latest tech partnership announced involves Apple and IBM and a strategy to marry IBM's big data and analytic capabilities with the iPhone and iPad to develop apps for healthcare.

Each effort is banking on data to foster new services, devices and mHealth tools.

"If the healthcare system could make good use of this data, the thinking goes, doctors might be able to keep in touch with patients while they're well, and keep them well, instead of coming in contact with them only when they get sick," notes the VentureBeat article.

But there are formidable obstacles, according to the article. One is that doctors have little time or interest in using wellness data collected by wearable. There are also concerns about costs for additional systems and protecting data.

"Doctors would love to be excited about wearables--they're gadget guys at heart--but their day-to-day is spent battling 30 year old fax machines to get your last lab report," states Jeff Tangney, CEO of Doximity, in the VentureBeat report.  "For a busy doctor, the ability to use email would save more lives than a Fitbit."

Yet that doesn't mean the ultimate dream of weaving mHealth apps, devices, platforms and data into the day-to-day medical practice won't happen.

"If it makes life easier for the physician by helping to keep patients healthy they'll want to use it," John Wald, M.D., told VentureBeat.

To learn more:
- read the VentureBeat article

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