It's not hard to see why hardware advancements receive most of the hype when it comes to innovation in the healthcare IT sector. Medical professionals and the stakeholders that fund their initiatives are naturally attracted to visually compelling technology, namely the gadgets and gizmos that grace so many hospital halls today. But in terms of questionable investments, I can't think of a more (literally) fitting example than wearable devices. They're certainly flashy, but are they really more critical than operational software such as an ERP healthcare solution?
Getting Healthcare Priorities in Line
There's no doubt that wearable tech is a hugely intriguing prospect for the healthcare sector, but it's hard to justify all of the buzz when so many organizations lack the financial insight to support their daily operations in a sustainable way. Emergency rooms are packed to the brim, thousands of families lack basic insurance and more national health epidemics are on the rise than ever before. Prioritizing wearables in light of these crises is like NASA setting a course for Jupiter when it can barely get to Mars - let's fix the problems at hand first.
A recent article from ReCode explained that while wearables will play a role in healthcare's future, they aren't anywhere near ready for deployment.
"Right now, they're boring, underwhelming and inaccurate," Esther Dyson, chair of EDventure Holdings, told the news provider. "But they'll make the data much more interesting and meaningful, and the wearables themselves will become better."
Don't Rush into the Future - Plan Now
I'm not underestimating the potential wearables have - in fact, I'm thrilled that technology is finally being used to get people off of the sofa instead of being locked in front of a screen. ReCode cited a prediction from an industry leader that has my fingers crossed for a truly revolutionary device that inspires coming generations to get active.
"It won't be one thing that measures all of your health," Dr. Krishna Yeshwant, a general partner at Google Ventures and a physician, according to the source. "It's something that will be narrow but that closes the loop in a real-time way and gets people to change their behavior."
Right now, however, wearables aren't going to make an impact. Hospitals that seek IT consulting and a willingness to adopt resource planning solutions are on the right track - futuristic devices will fall into place with time.