For the past several years, wearable biosensors have been all the rage. Consumers have been using them for everything from tracking their exercise regimens to monitoring blood pressure. But do these sensors actually improve patient outcomes like weight or blood pressure? Investigators at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles sought out this answer by conducting a literature analysis of the clinical outcomes of body fat percentage, body mass index, weight, waist circumference and diastolic blood pressure. Their investigation found that remote patient monitoring of wearable sensors, which they defined as “noninvasive devices that automatically transmit data to a web portal or mobile app for patient self-monitoring or health provider assessment”, had no statistical significant impact on the above-mentioned clinical outcomes.
The investigation involved a statistical analysis and literature review of 27 studies from 13 countries that assessed the effects of remote patient monitoring with wearable biosensors. The studies were published between January 2000 and October 2016.
“There is a big difference between using these sensors to track sleep for self-betterment and using them make medical decisions,” – Michelle S. Keller, MPH, Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education.
The study did, however, find that wearable biosensors might be a promising technology in improving outcomes for conditions such as hypertension, low back pain, pulmonary disease and Parkinson’s disease.
One of the shortcomings of the study is that there simply isn’t enough data to assess clinical outcomes yet.