Could Your Fitbit Data Be Used To Deny You MEDICAL HEALTH INSURANCE?

Under the program, individuals who have certain health insurance coverage programs with United Healthcare can elect to wear a Fitbit activity tracker and talk about their data with the insurance company. The info would be analyzed by Qualcomm Life, an ongoing company that functions medical data from wireless sensors for doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. 1,500 toward health care services every year. Curiosity about wearable fitness trackers is booming.

Before we celebrate this new partnership, though, it is critical to consider potential costs to the patients. We aren’t definately not times when wearable health devices can identify ailments. Corporate partnerships like this one with United Healthcare and Fitbit could pave just how for insurance companies to use fitness tracker data to deny coverage or hike up rates for consumers.

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  • Provides the needed information to establish a realistic goal
  • It will come in interchangeable colors like cyan, red, purple, black, blue

There are positive elements to pair wearable fitness trackers with health data. An existing flu treatment medication works best when implemented within a day of onset of symptoms. But it’s difficult to capture the flu so quickly. A Fitbit will make that easier. If the device actions an abrupt decrease in the number of steps the person requires per day plus an increased resting heart rate perhaps, or new tremors signaling chills, that could signal the presence of the virus.

If an insurance company has access to those data, it might send a message to the patient. If the individual really was feeling badly (rather than just having made a decision to watch TV all day long or obtained snowed in), she could be aimed to visit her doctor or an immediate care clinic. The person could quickly visit a health professional, get a highly effective treatment, and become on the mend sooner – thanks to her Fitbit data.

This ability is only going to increase in the future. You will find more than 20 clinical trials using Fitbits underway, learning the role of activity in treating pediatric weight problems and cystic fibrosis, and even how it can boost chemotherapy’s efficiency and acceleration in recovery from surgery. As those studies are published in the coming years, experts and doctors will get even better at identifying signals of specific diseases in wearable devices’ data. Similar efforts include one to identify influenza with a portable heart-rate monitor.

Other experts are analyzing voice and speech patterns to expose neurological disorders and other diseases – and are using phone calls to a medical health insurance company as a data source. Eye-tracking software could measure cognitive understanding Even, which could identify indicators of dementia. Detecting symptoms earlier through Fitbit data could allow faster, far better treatment. 10 million award to the team who can develop a specific type of multifunction medical device. Without involving a health care worker or facility, these devices must have the ability to diagnose 13 health conditions accurately, including diabetes and pneumonia. It must be able to capture in real time five vital signs also, such as heart breathing and rate rate, and process the data locally.

The global competition is down to finalists; the champion will be announced early this year. That could bring wearables’ insights to doctors – and insurance firms – much sooner than we would think. Wearables’ data can definitely be utilized to help patients. But it could be used to damage them also, especially in light of recent politics developments.

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare) insurance firms were barred from denying coverage to customers who got preexisting medical ailments at that time they enrolled in insurance. If that rule is raised by Republicans in Congress, insurers might look to wearable devices for proof they might use to won’t purchase patients’ healthcare.

This development would have enormous consequences. Based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as many as half of all Americans have some type of condition that might be used to exclude them from coverage, such as asthma, cancers, or mental illness. Might insurance companies ask potential customers for their Fitbit data, in addition to – or in lieu of – a physical exam or lab tests even? Could they set rates based on what those data show – or deny coverage entirely?