Wearable technology have the ability to change healthcare for the better, enabling us to reach more patients, monitor vitals more effectively and track everything from sleep to chronic pain. “The American Medical Association finds that seven out of ten patient visits are unnecessary,” Saumya Garg, CEO of HealthBridge.me, says. “Wearables will also make preventive health more personalized and more effective.”
But wearable technology can be challenging because of the barriers to access and care – barriers like HIPAA compliance, interoperability and price point. These are a few reasons why HealthBridge.me has joined the 2015 Wearables in Healthcare Pilot challenge, Garg says, offering API technology to physicians and healthcare professionals interested in using wearable technology in their practices. The HealthBridge.me API enables wearables or apps to send messages like text, video or files, to ask for information, or to assign tasks to patients, families, and providers with HIPAA compliance.
“Developers can also optionally add policies to ensure that information sent on HealthBridge.me gets attention,” Garg explains. “For example, if a wearable triggers a message to a home health nurse that is unaddressed within a certain timeframe, a developer can set a policy to automatically notify the nurse’s supervisor or patient’s family to track the issue.”
Garg also says the #WHPC15 is exciting because it has started a conversation about wearables in healthcare, not just in fitness tracking. “This hackathon is particularly unique because it creates community and conversation around this issue by keeping collaboration open over a longer period of time, while promoting the openness through feedback and voting,” he says.” This enables the best and most practical ideas to be collaborated upon and reviewed by multiple perspectives.”
If you’re interested in free access to HealthBridge.me’s API, submit your ideas for using wearables in healthcare to the #WHPC15. Your ideas will be vetted and critiqued by a panel of judges in an online forum. Winning submitters will then travel to Boston for a final pitch-off at Google headquarters and an opportunity to win many wearables, mentorship and prize money. HealthBridge.me will offer a first prize worth $5,000 of production usage of their API and free sandbox access for one year, as well as five honorable mentions of $1000 cash value of production usage for six months.
HealthBridge.me hopes to see ideas where wearables paired with the HealthBridge.me API allow healthcare providers and patient stakeholders to be alerted and to act immediately when problems are imminent or when health plan adherence is deviated from. “Communication is key to easy and flawless management of health plans and to making sure clinical resources are distributed with the most impactful returns on health,” Garg says. “Wearable apps partnered with HealthBridge.me can facilitate this communication by automating the basic data points which are the premise for scientific communication.”
Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.
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