UNDER THE BONNET OF THE WEARABLE CLINIC
In order to create this blueprint for how the NHS could use wearable technologies, the Wearable Clinic has enlisted data scientists, computer analysts, health economists, software developers and electronic engineers. To test the blueprint, they will look at two distinct areas of healthcare: detecting relapse earlier in patients with psychosis and monitoring blood pressure outside of the clinic in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Data scientists are analysing health data to see if they can find patterns that show when symptoms flare up, and what might trigger these fluctuations. These analyses will be used to create risk prediction algorithms.
Computer scientists are creating algorithms that take into account predicted risks, individual health and care goals and available care resources in the patient’s specific environment, to produce personalised care plans for patients with long-term conditions.
Electronic engineers are studying how to improve the efficiency of wearable devices to provide the right data at the right time over sustained periods without draining the battery.
Health economists and public engagement specialists are working with patients with long-term conditions to understand their preferences and priorities for new models of healthcare using wearables. This will feedback into the design, to ensure the wearable clinic is acceptable to patients.
Software developers are integrating these insights into a set of software tools that will combine electronic health records and data collected by the patients’ wearable device to create a bigger picture of health that can be shared with clinicians and patients.
Clinicians will be able to intervene as soon as they see symptoms are worsening, rather than waiting until the next clinic visit. Equally, patients with long-term conditions will have their health information at their fingertips, allowing them to change how they manage their conditions when they see their symptoms fluctuate in real time.
These innovations in wearable technology will help to overcome the barriers that prevent the full potential of wearables in healthcare being realised, and will lead the way for a dynamic, connected, collaborative world of healthcare.
Find out more about the Wearable Clinic here, and look out for our next blog post which will take a closer look at the first of two test cases, how wearables could help patients with chronic kidney disease.