Consumers are empowered to manage their health.

 

Did you know that women are 30-50% more likely to be misdiagnosed than men?

 

I just discovered the stat on Sergey Young’s twitter feed. It happens to be very relevant to my heart experience. I was given several medical diagnosis over the years but it was my Apple Watch that sent me down the right path to a correct diagnosis.

 

I still need to do the final consult but according to my physician, there is nothing concerning about my results. The main thing that I want to know is whether I need to check a box on my health history.

 

Genetics vs. Epigenetics

 

Genetic risk factors are only one factor. Lifestyle factors account for 60-80% of Medical Risk which makes Epigenetics more important than genetics.

 

Epigenetics is the expression of your genes and a reflection of lifestyle. My lifestyle gives me a very low Medical Risk to the extent that in Canada, I am waitlisted for some medical tests and follow up care.

 

Being waitlisted is fine because there is no urgency. Plus I am more empowered than ever to manage my own health and to play an active role in making sure that I get the right diagnosis. My physician continues to factor in the data from my Apple Watch into her recommendations.

 

Healthcare Consumerism

 

The shift to healthcare consumerism is finally happening. Holter Monitor coupled with a paper journal are outdated. A paper journal doesn’t capture the complete picture.

 

If you’re not aware, there are more modern devices [i.e. Zio by iRhythm Technologies, Inc.] available now. They are probably better at establishing a baseline and identifying anomalies. However, cost and coverage limit widespread adoption.

 

My Apple Watch captures all of the details but there is no easy way to share it with healthcare providers yet. However, the value proposition of wearables to health consumers is becoming increasingly clear.

 

Given the level of information it captures on every activity and aspect of health, the question seems to be when not if wearables will start diagnosing medical conditions or at least providing the most likely diagnosis.

 

Healthcare Savings

 

Think about the healthcare savings for a minute: the cost of the base level SE Apple Watch [~$300] versus use of med tech and the time of a skilled technician, specialist and general practitioner. And that’s just on one test.

 

The Apple Watch and other wearables are no longer just step counters. They can help you live healthier and possibly, a longer life.

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