Beyond the clinic: the rise of wearables and smartphones in decentralising healthcare

Conor Wall, Victoria Hetherington, Alan Godfrey*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Navigating contemporary healthcare, wearable technology and smartphones are marking the dawn of a transformative era in patient observation and personalised care. Wearables, equipped with various sensing technologies (e.g., accelerometer for movement, optics for heart rate), are increasingly being recognised for their expansive potential in (remote) patient monitoring, diagnostics, and therapeutic applications which suggests a plausible move towards a more decentralised healthcare system. This shift is evident as healthcare providers and patients alike are becoming increasingly accepting of wearable-driven tools, as they enable continuous health monitoring outside of traditional clinical settings. Equally, the ubiquitous nature of smartphones, now more than mere communication tools, is being harnessed to serve as pivotal health monitoring instruments. Their added sensing capabilities with Internet of Things (IoT) driven connectivity enable a (relatively) seamless transition from conventional health practices to a more interconnected, digital age. However, this evolving landscape is not without its challenges, with concerns surrounding data privacy, security, and ensuring equitable access to digital advances. As we delve deeper into digital healthcare, we must harness the full potential of those technologies and ensure their ethical and equitable implementation, envisioning a future where healthcare is not just hospital-centric but is part of our daily lives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number219
Number of pages3
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2023

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