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A report from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and KLAS Research suggests that wearable devices have the potential to empower patients in their own healthcare. However, for broader adoption, health systems will need to improve security and connectivity.

Healthcare organizations that are making the most progress in this area are measuring the effectiveness of patient engagement tools and making changes to produce optimal results. The top uses for wireless technology among health IT executives surveyed include telehealth for clinicians, wireless Voice over Internet Protocol, video monitoring, cellular connectivity throughout premises, Radio Frequency Identification/Real-Time Location Systems, telemetry over Internet Protocol, wander management/patient elopement/infant abduction, and patient wearables integrated with the EHR. These findings are based on a survey representing the digital footprint of about 40% of U.S. hospitals.

Authors of the report suggest that the combination of personal technologies and healthcare has the potential to lead to more effective, proactive, and patient-centric care. This can also give patients a larger role in managing their health. As HCOs work towards improving security and connectivity, they will be able to leverage these technologies to enhance patient engagement and ultimately improve outcomes.

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