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Watches Aren't Just For Tracking Time, but Patients Too

Nowadays, doctors have many uses for their phones, whether it be entering patient encounter visits for charge capture, messaging with other providers, or even reading the daily news. A few years ago, the majority of doctors weren’t using their phones for these purposes, simply because it wasn’t possible or affordable. It took a revolution to change this - the smartphone revolution.

There is another revolution occurring, this time with wearable devices. Most recently, Apple introduced the Apple Watch, a smart watch with amazing capabilities. Unlike when Apple first introduced the iPhone, Apple is entering a market that has already been populated with a number of capable devices, such as the Samsung Gear or the Moto 360. So, what does this mean for doctors?

It means that there is another chance to change the way that doctors go about their day. Let’s take a look at what the Apple Watch could look like on the wrist of a doctor.

INSTANT NOTIFICATIONS


Given that the Apple Watch is only a wrist-flick away, alerts and notifications become that much more prevalent and helpful. When doctors receive consults, they may get a phone call or a secure text message regarding the patient. While that’s certainly a way to get the message, it can be inconvenient for them to take out their phone, unlock it, sign into your application, and check the notification. With the Apple Watch, their notifications can appear right on their wrist.

You might be wondering: doesn’t this raise questions regarding security? What if someone took their watch? Will they see the protected patient information?

This is where it gets particularly interesting. The Apple Watch knows when it’s on their wrist. When they put the watch on, they will be asked to authenticate it. If they ever take the watch off, it will sense the removal and disallow any secure transactions.

EASY-ACCESS CALENDAR


Doctors are very busy with very hectic schedules. Sometimes keeping track of those schedules can be a pain, but the Apple Watch can help here too. Piggybacking off of its notifications functionality, the Apple Watch brings your calendar to your your wrist. For a doctor, a quick glance can tell them which patient they’re seeing next and if they have enough time for a thirty second breather.

CUSTOM TIME TRACKING


OK, I know, this is the most obvious feature of the Apple Watch, but it’s still relevant. For doctors today, they probably wear a regular watch, so I want to assure them that they will still be able to keep track of time just like they did before. By turning their wrist up, the Apple Watch’s screen will turn on and a watch face will appear - just like they’re used to. Even better, if they get bored of the watch face, they can always change it out and customize it to their liking.

Some will say it’s a novelty, and some will say it’s a must-have, but at the end of the day, the decision is up to them. Do you think doctors will be getting the Apple Watch? I believe it can certainly be a helpful device, but we won’t truly know how helpful it is until it hits the market in early 2015.
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