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Should wearable smart technology be implemented into health policy to assist in long term condition management? Perspectives from health practitioners

Researchers: Dr Antonio Bonacaro (PI), Professor Valerie Gladwell and Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster

Institute for Health and Wellbeing and School of Health and Sports Science  

It is estimated that around 15 million people in England suffer from long term conditions. The NHS struggles to provide high quality care and equality of opportunities to all especially in times of pandemic when the number of patients accessing its services is exponentially growing. On the other hand, advancing innovations in wearable technologies are providing new opportunities in healthcare. Healthcare professionals, and patients are becoming increasingly more aware of the usefulness of wearable devices in monitoring health status in healthy patients and in the follow up of chronic conditions. A few primary research studies currently explore the usability, acceptability, and benefits of different wearable devices in several context and patients’ conditions. Despite the opportunities offered by the implementation in daily practice of advanced technologies, the views of healthcare professionals about their experiences in this regard are unexplored. The project uses a mixed methods approach which includes a combination of online survey and semi-structured interviews. Current health practitioners who work as academics and allied health professions students at the University of Suffolk, are currently being recruited to acquire their opinions. These findings will be making a start to inform policymakers and to aid the development of future policies around smart technology aligned with health professional views. Hopefully, this will pave the way to a more technologically advanced, effective, and efficient healthcare system.

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Smart watch with heart rate reading.

Smart watch with heart rate reading.