If you own a smartwatch, you might be enthralled by its surface-level health features, such as the heart rate monitor or fall detection sensor.
But there's a deeper level to smart healthcare technology that's been changing the game: device-to-device compatibility — the ability to sync and send information from one device, such as your glucose or heart monitor, to your smartwatch or smartphone. Even the newest cardiovascular tech is being designed with compatibility in mind.
That compatibility can help give people more confidence and freedom to go about their daily lives — and give doctors and other providers more real-time data to manage care effectively.
How Does It Work?
Take Confirm Rx ICM, for example. It's an insertable cardiac monitor that's placed under your skin through a minimally invasive procedure to monitor your heart for signs of arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythms). Where the old method of heart monitoring involved hoping that your symptoms appeared at the very moment your doctor was examining you,
Confirm Rx acts as a nonstop surveillance system for your heart. Even while you sleep, it's continuously checking for problematic patterns and abnormalities that could pose a problem.
This cardiovascular device transmits the data it gathers via Bluetooth to your smart phone to share with your doctor, who can access and monitor it. You could be on vacation in China and your cardiologist in Ohio would still know how your heart's doing.
"Prior to the evolution of this technology, the ability to monitor patients was really short-lived," said cardiologist Sean C. Beinart, M.D., FACC, FHRS. "But this allows the monitoring to continue and allows the patient to continue to live their lives unhindered."
Other Applications of Sync-and-Send Smart Sharing
That always-on monitoring is possible thanks to the smart healthcare technology that enables data-sharing and compatibility between devices. But device-to-device connectivity isn't just useful in cardiovascular tech. Other areas of clinical care also benefit greatly from real-time health surveillance. One of them is diabetes management, which requires people with diabetes to keep a constant eye on their glucose levels.
The FreeStyle Libre portfolio monitors glucose levels through a quarter-sized sensor that is worn on the back of your upper arm. It wirelessly transmits data to the FreeStyle® LibreLink app,1 which charts glucose patterns, trends and insights that you can share with your doctor.
It's Just the Beginning
Smart health technology is constantly evolving, so there's even more in store for device-to-device health surveillance. For one example, a planned integration between FreeStyle Libre and Novo Nordisk insulin pens will help combine data in a more actionable, seamless way. For another, FreeStyle Libre is also integrating with Omada Health's pioneering digital coaching platform. FreeStyle Libre is also working with Sanofi for insulin dosing. And with Tandem. And with Bigfoot. And more to come.
As smart health technology grows more sophisticated, it will generate more data, which will yield more insights that you and your doctor can apply to improve your health. With that information stream, you can trust that your arrhythmia triggers are being monitored, that you can forecast how your dietary choices can keep your glucose under control. And you can pair these programs with other smartwatch features — such as heart rate monitors and sleep trackers — to get a better overall picture of your health.
It's all part of putting more power into your hands — and unlocking a deeper level of smart health tech that you might never have known existed.
1The FreeStyle LibreLink app is only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check our compatibility guide for more information about device compatibility before using the app. Use of the FreeStyle LibreLink app requires registration with LibreView, a service provided by Abbott and Newyu, Inc.