From Connected to Critical—The Future of Wearable Technology in Healthcare

Wearables have evolved from Cool to Connected. But what does it mean to go from Connected to Critical.

This follow up article explores how these devices are at the forefront of patient-centered care now and what their trajectory looks like for proactive and preventative healthcare in the future.

When we last looked at Wearables, our focus was on Phase One of the tech category’s disruption of the current healthcare landscape, having evolved from Cool to Connected and the impact on progress towards a system of patient-centric care. From today’s capability of measurement and connection, the future looks towards partnerships that take the tech further towards proactive, preventative healthcare.

As the market evolves, we anticipate that Wearables will unlock a new care delivery model. One where providers can use pattern prediction as well as machine learning to proactively identify a patient’s baseline compared to anomalies and identify when intervention may be required before a costly adverse healthcare event occurs.

Examples of how current disease monitoring connectedness might move from today’s reactiveness to a more proactive tomorrow can be seen across diseases from diabetes and COPD management to stroke prevention. Below, we take a look at some of the early leaders who are paving the way toward the future of how care is delivered:


  • Connected Today: Dexcom’s integration of CGM with the Apple Watch allows for monitoring and alerts, combined with vital tracking and health data to enable predictive medicine.
  • Critical Tomorrow: Predictive algorithms can intervene when high blood sugar and blood pressure readings occur thus helping to prevent strokes and the need for hospitalization.


  • Connected Today: Johnson & Johnson has teamed up with Apple for the Heartline app which monitors medication adherence for anticoagulants and integrates with Medicare claim data to assess clinical outcomes and alert patients around irregularities in real time.
  • Critical Tomorrow: Studies are currently in progress focused on detecting patterns that can identify triggers and warning signs with the goal of preventing strokes in cardiac patients, both known and unknown.


  • Connected Today: NuvoAir connected Fitbit’s activity and weight monitoring devices with its own inhaler adherence and spirometer readings, providing real-time data to patients and providers supporting educated decisions related to dose or medication changes, weight loss recommendations or exercise encouragement for better overall respiratory health.  
  • Critical Tomorrow: Specialized NuvoAir Care Coordinators provide personalized support to empower patients’ understanding of their data, increasing patient engagement for better outcomes and decreased healthcare costs.

What Do Critical Wearables Mean to Stakeholders?

As Wearables move from what arguably felt more like a cool, early adopter trend to becoming critical devices that have the ability to impact the management of chronic conditions, improve treatments and outcomes, and ultimately become proactive and predictive in their abilities to improve our overall health, positive impacts will be realized across various stakeholder groups. From payers to providers, patients, and even healthcare IT professionals, this new frontier brings opportunities for streamlined functionality, cost savings and ultimately, improved overall care.


With patient consent, Payers can leverage the ability to combine high-level connected health device and wearables data with claims data to enable the creation of algorithms and cost-saving features that ultimately drive down premiums. One such example is Aetna, which has begun to explore covering initial Wearables cost and incentivizing usage via its Attain program.


With the ability to connect disparate data sources into patient EMR, Providers can move from reactive to proactive, using integrated information to drive more patient-centered experiences and outcomes.


Wearables enable a more consumable format providing information to Patients in a way they can understand, and allowing them to engage more deeply with Providers. This new era of patient driven medicine seeks to empower the Patient, and ongoing access to their own data changes the conversations they can have with Providers. By keeping a close eye on real-time metrics and engaging with Providers, Patients can align treatment options across Providers, improve baselines, and be alerted to significant fluctuations from those baselines.  Ultimately, this proactive care management has great potential to result in healthier outcomes.

One such example is the Ceras connected care platform, which in partnership with Ellipsis’ AI, hopes to offer healthcare Providers insight into Patients mental health. The platform, which monitors data points from medication adherence to daily activity levels, and even voice analysis aims to improve outcomes by recommending early treatment interventions for depression and anxiety.

Healthcare IT

By integrating data sets, Healthcare IT can develop predictive products that identify patterns and insights for Patients and Providers to act upon. By creating a picture of one’s current state of health, alerts to changes in data can proactively signal to both parties for more meaningful Patient outcomes.

Though there are certainly challenges in closing the chasm between personal tech and medical devices, the opportunity for a holistic win across all stakeholder groups indicates this will continue to be a space of focused innovation, and one that pushes the potential for a new frontier in patient-centered healthcare.

Navigate the New Wearables Frontier with a Knowledgeable Partner

With a depth of expertise in the Healthcare space, our team at g2o can guide you towards success in navigating the potential this path from Cool to Critical presents. Our team’s diverse experience can be applied from the earliest stages of data collection, analytics, and governance to building apps, writing code, and ultimately helping you position your product/service offering in the marketplace through the development of a solid strategy.

Ready to win in the race from trendy tech to critical care? Let’s connect.