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Experts on the News: Smart devices can keep your health in check, Ohio State cardiologist says

Data can provide doctors with a snapshot of patients’ well-being

The popularity of smart devices has skyrocketed throughout the decade. From smart watches to smart rings, tracking and monitoring health has never been more accessible.

Physicians at The Ohio State University are looking into clinically utilizing smart devices to improve the life of patients.

Laxmi Mehta“Wearable devices that patients have can help in several different ways,” said Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a preventative cardiologist at the Wexner Medical Center. “Some of the rings can tell them what their heart rates are like, how their sleep is impacted, and some even tell what their body temperature is. Watches can look at heart rates, step counts and some can look at heart rhythm.”

While these smart devices can help monitor everyday health, Mehta warns that the accuracy of these devices may vary.

“Not all of them are FDA-cleared. That can be problematic and why you have to use it with caution and ensure it with your clinician,” she said.

With data from the smart devices at their fingertips, patients are actively engaging with their health through the devices.

“It’s empowered them to take things beyond our office visit to try and understand why they may be feeling something or why they may not be experiencing what they want in terms of sleep,” she said.

Smart devices can catch small health changes, such as an extra heartbeat. Patients can bring these concerns to their doctor and provide information via the statistics from the smart devices.

“I’ve had some patients that have showed me on their device that they have atrial fibrillation to show that what they’re feeling is real, and we need to alter their medications,” Mehta said. “It’s been interesting to see those little tidbits that patients can see in themselves before they actually surface in our office.”


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