Health Professionals’ Perceptions of the Use of Smartwatch Technology in Their Work

Date

2018-05

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Abstract

Background: Only 1% to 2% of people in the United States have used a wearable device, but an increase in usage is anticipated in the near future. The use of smartwatch technology has been reported in many health care practices; providers have used smartwatches for a variety of purposes including patients’ personal health tracking, provider-patient communication, and medication reminders. However, the effects of smartwatch technology on the quality and effectiveness of health care delivery in primary care practices and community outreach remain unknown. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify health care professionals’ perceptions about the use of smartwatch technologies for patient care and community outreach. Methods: This project recruited fifty-five health care professionals from two different health care settings in South Texas, Primary Care Practices and Promotoras (a.k.a. community health care workers) and provided these professionals with smartwatch devices. Both groups were asked about their usage and perception of smartwatch technology integration in their work as health care providers at baseline, one month, three, six, and 12 months. Results: The results from SPSS statistical analysis of the data gathered demonstrated providers’ high affinity for using smartwatch devices for health care delivery and community outreach. Perceptions of continued used were influenced by practitioners’ lack of familiarity with technology, limited health applications, and patient information security. Conclusions: This study provides insight about health care professionals’ perceptions of smartwatch use, but further research is needed to identify mechanisms by which smart systems can be integrated into the routines and workflows of medical residents, clinical faculty, and community health care workers (promotoras) for increased productivity and real-time patient care delivery.

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Keywords

Wearable devices, Smartwatch, Health care, Physicians, Residents, Community Health Care Workers

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