A Q&A on the Future of Digital Health
We recently sat down with Michael Blum, director of UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation, to talk about the future of health wearables and what more accurate health data could teach us about improving patient care.
Q: How could wearable health technology change what we understand about medicine and what key health indicators are?
MB: One of the first things that I think we are going to find is that a lot of real world health data and information about the general public looks very different than it did in highly controlled clinical trials.
A lot of the info we’ve learned over the years in these trials comes from a very different setting than how patients behave in the real world. Trials are highly regimented and closely monitored: you have the patient, you give them medicine, you assess their compliance, the effect of the treatment, and check for side effects – that kind of rigor and monitoring doesn’t happen in the real world so there is tremendous variability in how patients take medications and how those medications impact them.