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Patient Wearable

Patient Wearable

Definition

A wearable device used to monitor medical patients' vital signs. Although once used almost exclusively in hospital intensive care units, wearables have expanded into both standard hospital treatment rooms and being used extensively with outpatients.

Wearables can vastly improve patient monitoring and significantly reduce the risk of death in both noncritical areas of hospitals and for patients in their homes. Furthermore, wearables can lower treatment costs without compromising the quality of medical care. For example, a remote monitoring device has the potential to reduce the number of a patient's visits to either a doctor's office or a hospital for routine checkups.

Wearable devices come with risks. For example, use of remote patient monitoring opens up the possibility that the hardware at the hospital or healthcare facility where remote readings are being received suddenly fails in some way or produces faulty readings. In addition, the person(s) charged with monitoring/analyzing remotely received patient data may negligently perform this role. Lastly, wearables expose a patient to the threat of hacking, which poses various privacy risks.

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