Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Ever-evolving consumer technology continues to push the envelope in efforts to make our own health data more accessible to us, and even to our healthcare professionals.
With the increase in popularity & availability of smart watches, fitness-tacking bands, smart glasses, and even smart clothing we can get a glimpse into our own health and wellness information like never before. Now, we have access to more data and a more accurate understanding of our health and behavior, often in real-time. Data from these devices can be hugely beneficial when utilized in the right way. How?
If you struggle to lose weight (for instance), a wearable that tracks your calorie usage, exercise, and food logging can help you understand which daily habits contribute most to meeting your goals. Have trouble sleeping? A wearable can continuously monitor sleep cycles to see where there is a need. A fitness tracker can help you understand everything from how many steps you take in a day, to your heart rate and calories burned during workout activities. This can greatly improve the effectiveness of your workouts and help you make the most of the time you spend doing those activities.
Data from wearables can also be given to your doctor of chiropractic or other healthcare professional to help them get a better understanding of your daily habits and activities so they can provide the best care possible. Tracking this information no longer requires making appointments for in-office tests and will provide a better picture with trending real-time data instead of one-off snapshot-in-time information. They can then help you change behaviors that negatively affect your health and get you on the road to recovery and wellness faster.
There is some caution to using theses devices: Self-Diagnosis and Accuracy.
True, the more you know about your own health, the more equipped you'll be to make informed decisions. However, most patients are not healthcare professionals and it is possible this data can be misused and misinterpreted. In some cases, patients will negatively self-diagnose or worse, believe their data represents good health when in reality there is something very wrong. So guidance will be needed in many cases in order to interpret all of the new data you now have access to.
Accuracy of the data you're getting is also something to be concerned with. Consumer-grade devices are not medical-grade devices. There is a difference. So if you see feedback from your wearable tech that concerns you, seek medical advice from your healthcare professional and never use your wearable tech as a replacement to regular health exams.
Wearable and even implantable tech will no doubt continue to be developed and advanced to increase the accuracy and availability of the health information we need access to. And these devices will continue to help healthcare professionals provide the best of care to patients that use them. However, these devices are no replacement to your healthcare professional (not just yet anyway ;)) and certainly no replacement to a good, specific, chiropractic adjustment.
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