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Wearables are a benefit – ‘full stop’ 

Wearables are a benefit – ‘full stop’ 

NewspollYARMOUTH, Maine – Wearables like the Samsung Galaxy Watch will raise awareness of the importance of sleep on health and increase the number of people seeking CPAP therapy, according to nearly 73% of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll. 

The Galaxy recently received de novo authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use to detect signs of obstructive sleep apnea. 

“Information is key to decision-making,” wrote one respondent. “Many people are hesitant to ask their physician about conditions that aren't obvious or it's low on their priority list when they have an appointment. Arming them with hard data from a wearable could potentially change that. Suddenly they don't ‘feel like’ they are having an issue; they know they are.” 

The Galaxy Watch’s sleep apnea feature enables users over the age of 22 who have not been diagnosed to detect signs of moderate to severe OSA over a two-night monitoring period. To use the feature, users simply track their sleep twice for more than four hours within a 10-day period. 

The impact of wearables and the larger consumer health trend will extend to other chronic conditions and products, like diabetes and continuous glucose monitors, according to an even larger majority of respondents (about 80%). Dexcom recently received clearance from the FDA for a CGM that will be available without a prescription for people with Type 2 diabetes who do not use insulin, but that’s expected to be just the beginning. 

“(These devices are) giving people the autonomy to monitor their own health in real time and make decisions and potential changes,” wrote one respondent. “It may also increase the likelihood that they seek care.” 

But not everyone’s a believer – yet.  

“Wearables are still very unproven and are not a good resource to medically diagnose someone,” one respondent wrote. “Too many variables and unknowns.” 

Still, you can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good – not with 80% of OSA undiagnosed, principally because of lack of patient awareness of the condition and its significance to good health, wrote Gary Sheehan. 

“Any device that conforms to patients’ existing lifestyle, like a watch, that might flag this condition and prompt further research is a major tailwind for companies who manufacture and distribute the treatment devices – full stop,” wrote Sheehan, founder and managing director of Scorton Creek Capital.


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