Wearable devices critical to health outcomes

A DISCONNECT between health data stored on wearable devices and information in hospital files is limiting better health outcomes.

A growing number of people use such devices as smartphones to track fitness, heart rate and general health but the data is not usually being used in the official health system.

Queensland University of Technology pharmacy professor Lisa Nissen said there was a division in the use of such health data - such as hospitals, GPs and pharmacists not electronically linking information.

Prof Nissen said some people were concerned the data we collect about our health was not being used effectively and some health professionals did not yet trust such data from devices such as Fitbits.

She said part of the problem was health professionals and users were not being trained to use the data properly to improve health outcomes.

But that didn't mean the information wasn't useful.

Prof Nissen said she knew of at least one case where a person who used a wearable health device had noticed an irregular heartbeat and was able to get medical treatment instead of having a likely heart attack.

She said the issues would be discussed in detail during a panel talk at QUT on Wednesday.


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