Digital biomarkers — or data like heart rate collected through wearables or other digital devices — could help providers better predict patient outcomes and develop more customized health plans.
As technology advances, healthcare continues to shift away from the “one-size-fits-all” model and toward precision medicine, where disease treatment and prevention takes on a more customized approach.
Traditionally, biomarkers — which are measurable indicators of what’s happening in the body (like heart rate or blood pressure) — play a significant role in identifying a course of action. For example, a doctor can measure a patient’s blood sugar, among other data, and develop an individualized treatment plan based on findings.
But these biomarkers are often collected infrequently and cannot be easily analyzed over a long period of time, which can result in late diagnoses and increased cost of care.
This is where digital biomarkers come in, which use digital devices like wearables and smart phones to continuously collect patient data over time. Collected data can be analyzed in real-time, potentially leading to more actionable and uniquely tailored care.
For example, the Amazon Halo watch attempts to use voice analysis to measure the varying tone of a person’s speech, which can serve as an important indicator for a person’s social wellbeing.
As the global wearable sensor market is projected to grow at a 25.2% CAGR to reach $2.5B by 2027, the increasing amount of digital measurements collected from these devices will continue to shape how we make health monitoring and intervention more personalized.