Let’s face it — going to the doctor’s office is a little intimidating. You’re sitting on a bed with a paper sheet and wearing a dinky cotton dress while your doctor stands by looking immaculate and all knowing. You secretly wonder how much to share with your doctor about your chocolate habit. All of these factors can make connecting with your doctor a challenge, though necessary for your health. So how do you break through this barrier? The key could come from the simple use of wearable technology.
In a study from the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper University Health Care, 30 breast cancer patients received Apple Watches to monitor their overall health, habits and mood. The watch utilizes an app called emPOWER to monitor their behavioral patterns, including sleep patterns, side effects of medication, general mood and physical activity. After the data is collected, it is analyzed to help determine treatment courses, according to Cooper Health.
Patients enrolled in this program can connect with other patients, their care team and doctors, providing them with more options to tackle their own treatment. These connections help create an additional support group for the patient. Doctors can use the information from the watches to congratulate and encourage healthy behavior and identify areas of improvement. Patients can take charge of their treatment and see how their personal behaviors affect their overall health.
This 9-month study hopes to help the patients find a better quality of life and gain control over their own treatment. This program includes participant surveys and other ways to connect patients and health care professionals. The recorded data helps doctors tweak the person’s course of treatment based on measurable results and health information, all without the awkward moment of deciding what to tell your doctor.
As a patient, it can be difficult to sometimes see the doctor’s point of view. While wearable technology looks to lessen the burden of this challenge, it’s important that you feel comfortable sharing personal information with your physician.
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