Philips Connects the Dots for Consumers Using Wearable Health Trackers

| November 17, 2015

Philips, a LeadingAge Silver Partner and CAST Supporter, has developed a cloud-based system to help consumers reap health benefits from the mountain of health-related data they collect through a variety of wearable technologies.

Philips, a LeadingAge Silver Partner and CAST Supporter, has developed a cloud-based system to help consumers reap health benefits from the mountain of data they collect through a variety of wearable technologies.

“The problem is that there are thousands of cool wearables out there that capture really interesting data, but they all live in different silos in the cloud,” says Liat Ben-Zur, director of digital technology at Philips in New Scientist. “What we need to do to have a positive impact on health is to connect the dots.”

For example, says Ben-Zur, consumers may use separate devices to record their blood glucose levels, track their calorie intake, and store information about their family history of heart disease. To bring about the best health outcomes, this data needs to be combined in a meaningful way, she says. 

Philips has created a number of health tracking devices -- including blood pressure monitors, a smart scale, and the Philips health watch -- that all link with the Philips HealthSuite digital platform. The collected data is combined within that online environment to create a broader and more comprehensive picture of an individual’s health, says Ben-Zur. 

By giving health care professionals access to this data, consumers can have more meaningful conversations about their health and the steps they can take to improve their well-being, she says.

A recent study by Philips and Banner Health in Arizona illustrates how this kind of data collection, storage, and sharing could reduce hospital readmissions among individuals with multiple chronic conditions. 

Individuals in the study used cloud-connected sensors to track their heart rate and falls. Their clinicians monitored the data and proactively reached out when that data indicated that the person might have health issues.

By intervening early, physicians were able to reduce hospital readmissions among study group members by 45%.