Wearable Technology Potential Boon to Diagnosis


Fitbits, iWatches, and other wearable fitness technology have allowed millions of Americans to have a better grasp of their fitness. Setting and achieving goals, such as taking 10,000 steps every day, is much simpler to achieve when a bracelet or watch is keeping track.

As technology improves, these devices are tracking more and more. Gone are the days when they were only fancy pedometers, tracking nothing more than movement. Now, the more advanced models can track heart rate, respiratory rate, and other health data. And not only is this data tracked, but it is saved on paired apps on phones and computers.

As the tech continues to improve, this information could prove invaluable to physicians attempting to make differential diagnoses. All too often, a physician has limited access to the development of symptoms over time. But being able to look at how a patient’s heart rate or respiratory rate has changed over a week or a month’s time could make it easier to identify certain diseases, including blood clots, pneumonia, and sepsis.

Physicians need all the help they can get making these diagnoses, as there are too many diseases where the diagnosis doesn’t occur until it is too late. Giving a doctor additional tools will hopefully help with these missed diagnoses, improving long-term prognoses for patients. But the physician will still need to properly interpret the information, knowing for example that an elevated resting heart rate over a number of weeks is associated with infection or blood clots.

If you or someone you love has failed due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose blood clots or other diseases, you know all too well how often doctors miss vital symptoms in these cases. Though more and more information is becoming available to physicians, there is no substitute for time and care. Please, retain an experienced attorney who can help you make sure the same doctor doesn’t fail more patients.