Page 34 - 2014-sept-oct

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SEPT / OCT 2014
Healthcare Journal of new orleans  
“As Obamacare moves forward and 30 or 40million new insured come into the healthcare
system, there are not enough medical providers to treat them. It’s just a reality,” he says.
“Wherever possible, we need to leverage technology to maximize these healthcare visits,
and I think that’s what wearables are doing. We’ve seen the proliferation in the activity and
the fitness market—I’d like to see that transition into the healthcare market. The physicians
are behind it, the patients are behind it. We really just have to get the insurance companies
on board so that they pay for it.”
Local wearable healthcare technology efforts are medical staff-facing as well. Ochsner Health
System’s incentive-based wellness programhelped its employees lose 33,000 pounds in 2011
by rewarding good health-related activities, such as physical activity and paying attention
to certain biometrics. As of 2012, 89 percent of Ochsner’s 8,100 eligible employees partici-
pated in the program.
Employees wear pedometers to track the number of steps they take and participate in behav-
iors that promote healthy living. Each step and action earns themVirgin HealthMiles. If they
earn a certain number of points, they can receive discounts on their insurance premiums—
incentives that reward healthy behaviors with benefits towardmaintaining their good health.
In New Orleans and beyond, wearable technology is catching on in healthcare settings as
more researchers and healthcare providers are uncovering the unique benefits that these
devices can bring to the doctor-patient experience. Whether it’s providing more accurate
information to doctors or empowering patients to take an active role in monitoring their
own health, wearable technology appears to have a bright future in the realm of healthcare
and will likely evolve the industry as we know it.
possible, we
need to leverage
to maximize
healthcare visits.
Dr. Aaron Wolfson,
MHealth Technologies, LLC
Healthcare and Technology: Sri Wearable Tech Google Glass.
iHealth Wearable Technology:
CleverCap, Blood Pressure
Monitor, and ECG