4 Benefits of Wearable Technology for Nurses
As time passes, the technology field continues to grow. Today, wearable devices (i.e. smart watches, activity trackers, etc.) are gaining popularity and show no signs of slowing down, in terms of sales, any time soon. In fact, this specific market will be worth $34 billion by 2020. Although wearable instruments are a favorite among many industries, others may feel the solutions are out of reach. Yet, the advantages these systems offer can make the sometimes-hefty price tag worth it. Let’s take a look at five benefits this recent trend offers the health care field, and nurses in particular:
1. Patient tracking
People visit hospitals and clinics for a variety of reasons. Whether it is in need of life-saving surgery or to get a flu shot, it is crucial for health care professionals to ensure these patients are taken care of – even after they leave the building. Sending people home with a wearable device can help nurses track their recovery from larger-scale issues, as well as chronic conditions. These tools can monitor heart rate, pain levels, range of motion and much more. The data these wearables provide can then be sent directly to health care providers, who can decide what next steps are appropriate for the specific patient.
2. Assistance with health care education
Wearable devices give nurses the opportunity to learn from – and to teach – their colleagues helpful technical methods for completing health procedures. Day-to-day tasks like drawing blood or administering stitches can be showcased by using tools like Google Glass or other resources that offer live streaming. This way, newer clinicians can have an uninhibited point of view for these techniques – even if they’re not currently within the building.
In a way, using wearable technology during procedures is a form of telehealth. It allows veteran health care providers – in this case, nurses – to share valuable expertise and advice with less-experienced employees.
3. Health intelligence
Nurses and other healthcare providers can learn a lot from the information wearable devices are able to share. Patients willing to send information including geographical location, heart rate, and more, can help these medical professionals segment their audience and discern which health issues are more prevalent according to age and area.
With this data, nurses and physicians can work together to ensure their patients are aging in a healthy way and implement helpful changes to improve their wellness moving forward.
4. Appointment scheduling
No matter the age or health problems of the patient, everyone forgets their previously scheduled appointments every now and again. Wearable technology enables nurses and other health care providers to send people appointment updates and reminders, prescription notifications and more; all while they are on the go. With these tools, patients have direct access to clinicians and can easily pass messages back and forth about specific health concerns or questions relating to upcoming tests or other procedures. Since nurses don’t have a lot of spare time on their hands, wearables allow them to deal with patient problems as they arise, instead of letting them pile up over the course of the day.
Implementing wearable devices can help nurses and other health care providers take advantage of a number of benefits. Not only can they monitor patient progress, but they can also provide training tips, gain health intelligence and handle more administrative duties all while they’re working. These instruments can lead to higher productivity and result in improved patient happiness, as people are only a message away from speaking with a nurse who knows and understands their case.
The most successful health care providers utilize accessible tools to the best of their ability for proper diagnoses and improved healthcare offerings to patients. The online Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership program at the University of Arizona can help keep you up to date on new and exciting ways to enhance patient care.