Company says devices are making healthcare smarter

April 14, 2015 in Medical Technology

The news is good for developers of ‘smart’ healthcare devices: Consumers are willing to change their unhealthy habits.

That’s the view from Alexis Normand, head of healthcare development for Withings, a France-based maker of smart watches, scales, blood pressure monitors and other activity trackers.

According to Normand, the reward that consumers get when seeing the progress of their activity spelled out in daily and weekly data reports drives the desire to keep using the devices.

Normand spoke at the Connected Patient Pavilion at HIMSS15 on Tuesday about how these smart devices are driving population health, which ultimately comes down to aggregating data from its users into a single community-wide set.

The company has also launched interactive maps of France and the United States that show health indicators such as obesity and activity by state so you can see what areas are outperforming others when it comes to health.

“There are a number of studies that show that when patients are actors in their own chronic disease, the outcomes improve, Normand said.

For Withings, the aggregated data business has opened up new avenues into corporate health. With their devices, companies can track the health of their employees and even compare the health of their workforce against competitors.

Normand said many hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University Medical Center, are also interested in what Withings is doing in tracking data to help treat diabetes, hypertension and COPD.

“Patient-generated data is becoming accepted by the healthcare system if you show how it is taken,” he said.

Normand’s arguments about how Withings devices are adding value to the system mirror many other healthcare initiatives that put more weight on the patient experience.

“We’re part of a movement that’s bigger than us, where patients own their own data and as such become responsible. It shifts the focus of the healthcare system from the doctor to the patient himself.”

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