Abstract: The healthcare industry has been transforming into a much more patient-centric and data-driven industry. One of more exciting innovations are wearable devices, which use data analytics and insights to elevate the quality of patient care and enable people to live healthier lives. Data-driven applications like “Device Connect for Fitbit” are helping healthcare institutions monitor the overall health of their patients outside their hospital walls. Through this holistic view of their patients and provision of actionable insights, healthcare providers can support their wellness and detect health issues earlier.
The global healthcare industry generates nearly 30% of all global data – mainly from wearable devices and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). With such massive data volumes, healthcare companies find it challenging to manage this data load and extract useful insights.
Current Data-related Challenges Faced by the Healthcare Industry
- Collecting and assembling healthcare data from different data sources and formats including unstructured data, photographs, videos, and multimedia devices.
- Lack of data interoperability in wearable devices due to data siloes and lack of common data standards.
- Inefficiency in embedding real-time patient data into care plans.
- The inability to track patient behavior.
- Lack of consistent monitoring of data assets.
Launched by Google in September 2022, “Device Connect for Fitbit” provides an innovative solution for healthcare companies to address their data-related challenges. This solution is designed to facilitate the collection and analysis of wearable and other patient healthcare data.
What is “Device Connect to Fitbit”?
Developed in collaboration by Google Cloud and Fitbit Health Solutions, “Device Connect for Fitbit” enables healthcare companies to extract insights from the connected Fitbit device data. In this Google blog, Alissa Hsu Lynch of Google Cloud and Amy McDonough of Fitbit highlight how healthcare companies can use this solution to:
“Gain a more holistic view of their patients outside of clinical care settings. These insights can enhance understanding of patient behaviors and trends while at home, enabling healthcare and life science organizations to better support care teams, researchers, and patients themselves.”
Using the Fitbit consent app, users have more control over the data they consent to share. This app facilitates access for healthcare companies to unlock valuable insights about patients, which can help them manage chronic conditions and transform clinical research.
Powerful features of the “Device Connect for Fitbit” solution
- Integrated data connector
With its open-source data connector, “Device Connect to Fitbit” automates data normalization and integration with Google Cloud’s BigQuery. This data connector supports industry standards like Open mHealth. With this functionality, this solution enables interoperability with clinical data using Cloud Healthcare API.
- Built-in dashboard
“Device Connect for Fitbit” tool has a pre-built interactive dashboard that leverages data visualization to highlight insights simply and quickly. This dashboard can be customized to many different settings.
- Patient enrollment and consent
With its pre-built patient enrollment and consent feature, “Device Connect for Fitbit” provides healthcare companies automated user permissions for sharing their data. This enables friction-free secure data sharing between users and providers.
- Fitbit metrics
The “Device Connect for Fitbit” solution can also monitor and measure Fitbit metrics like the patient’s activity levels, sleep patterns, breathing pace, cardio fitness scores, heart rate, and nutrition levels. Over time, these metrics enable Fitbit users (and their providers) to notice any major changes in their fitness levels and take corrective actions.
Where is “Device Connect for Fitbit” being used in healthcare?
- Surgical patient care
To improve patient care, healthcare providers are looking to support the patient’s journey before and after surgical intervention. Currently, they lack a view of the patient’s journey once they leave the hospital. With Fitbit, companies can track the patient’s behavior outside the medical facility, which includes their physical activities, exercise, sleep patterns, weight management, and even stress levels. This provides valuable insights that can personalize services to patients undergoing surgeries and recoveries.
- Managing chronic conditions
Chronic conditions like diabetes are closely associated with individual lifestyles. It’s difficult for a provider to track their pateints’ blood glucose levels outside the healthcare facility, which has a direct impact on heart conditions and diabetes. Through “Device Connect for Fitbit,” hospitals can monitor blood glucose levels and determine how lifestyle factors impact blood-sugar levels. Based on these findings, they can deliver personalized care to the patient and recommendations for a healthier lifestyle.
- Community Health
Apart from individual patients, the “Device Connect for Fitbit” solution is useful in monitoring community health in a particular location or geography. Healthcare companies can focus on preventive care that improves the overall quality of life and reduces the chances of chronic health conditions. By sharing their medical data, groups of Fitbit users can help healthcare companies manage their chronic ailments – and deliver improvements in their lifestyle patterns.
- Medical research
Medical research programs like clinical trials are driven by patient data. The patient’s medical records in the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) does not provide a complete picture of their lifestyle habits. Fitbit has been used in over 1,500 research studies to provide longitudinal patient information and improve the findings of a medical research program.
- Health equities across populations
Health-related disparities can occur across populations. For example, children from low-income families can have more obesity-related issues. Or there can exist increased pregnancy complications among minority women. Fitbit-based solutions can help identify the disparities from a variety of datasets including demographic and social health metrics and provide valuable insights to healthcare companies and providers.
“Device Connect for Fitbit” benefits healthcare providers
With the “Device Connect for Fitbit” solution from Google, healthcare providers can now have a holistic view of their patients using Fitbit data housed on a secure cloud platform.
With the Fitbit solution, healthcare providers can improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. Thanks to device interoperability, this solution improves the speed of delivering data insights to medical care teams, which can lead to benefits like:
- Improved productivity
- Reduction in manual data collection
- Reduced burnout among medical personnel
An innovative benefit is that healthcare providers can now have a holistic view of their patient from the collection of this expanded patient information. This helps in improving patient outcomes and in delivering personalized care based on their medical condition.
How Onix is enabling healthcare organizations to leverage data
At Onix, we enable healthcare organizations leverage the full potential of their critical patient data. Through our many years of experience managing and analyzing data, we can help you collect, organize and analyze data from Fitbit wearable devices to generate valuable insights. We possess:
- Over 40 years of industry experience in the healthcare domain.
- Extensive partnerships with companies like Google Cloud to provide efficient healthcare solutions.
- The ability to develop customized solutions to meet your specific healthcare needs.
With the introduction of the “Device Connect for Fitbit” solution by Google and Fitbit, healthcare companies can obtain a much more complete and detailed view of their patients outside the confines of the medical facility. This innovative solution is useful for detecting potential health problems earlier – and providing actionable insights to physicians.
Over the years, the Onix team has worked extensively with healthcare companies. We were recognized as the “Google Cloud Social Impact Partner of the Year” award in 2020 for healthcare. Our team of healthcare experts can help you improve productivity using data-driven solutions.
If you wish to see how Onix can overcome your data-related challenges, please connect with us. We look forward to partnering with you!