A report by Rock Health defines Digital biomarkers as physiological and behavioral measures collected via connected tools.
With the advent of smartphones and wearables, consumers are now empowered to continuously track measures like blood pressure or heart rate. These values can then be shared with their physicians giving them unparalleled access to key health data.
No longer is data confined to physical visits with a caregiver or to within the four walls of a hospital or a clinic. Instead data now encompasses health metrics captured on an ongoing, personalized basis.
For example, the very recently unveiled fitness wearables from Samsung. The Gear Fit 2 smartwatch comes equipped with GPS sensors so distances and heart rates can be measured more accurately. In addition, it also tracks personal health metrics like steps taken and sleep. Their wireless earbuds Gear IconX have sensors that can capture data during workouts and a voice guide that provides coaching. Both can be synced with Samsung’s fitness tracking application, S Health.
Fitness trackers are just one example. Today, there are a wide variety of sensors in devices including implants, ingestibles, smart clothing that enable continuous monitoring of health and/or progression of a disease. This results in more data, better interpretation and more patient -focused health treatments.
Adding to these efforts are software frameworks like ResearchKit, from Apple. This provides core functionality for developers to build mobile apps to use in the field of clinical and medical research. ResearchKit apps can take advantage of the many powerful processors and sensors that are standard with smartphones today and use them to gather new types of data. This helps researchers to exponentially increase the number of participants.
But the path ahead is still rocky. To harness the full potential, the medical community and government regulatory agencies will have to work together to validate, secure, store and interpret the vast amount of digital health data that will potentially be collected.
That said, the medical field has only scratched the surface when its comes to the potential of health data. By collecting data from a wide population for an extended period of time, healthcare providers and researchers can better understand, help patients prevent or/and manage health conditions and provide more personalized treatments.
Here is your roadmap to success in mHealth.Download the infographic to know more!