Wearable Sensors with Possibilities for Data Exchange: Analyzing Statusand Needs of Different Actors in Mobile Health Monitoring Systems
AuthorMuzny, Miroslav; Henriksen, André; Giordanengo, Alain; Mužík, Jan; Grøttland, Astrid; Blixgård, Håvard Kvalvåg; Hartvigsen, Gunnar; Årsand, Eirik
Objective - The objective of this study was to provide an overview of available wearable sensor systems with data exchange possibilities. Due to the heterogeneous capabilities these systems possess today, we aimed to systematize this in terms of usage, where there is a need of, or users benefit from, transferring self‐ collected data to health care actors.
Methods - We searched for and reviewed relevant sensor systems (i.e., devices) and mapped these into 13 selected attributes related to data‐exchange capabilities. We collected data from the Vandrico database of wearable devices, and complemented the information with an additional internet search. We classified the following attributes of devices: type, communication interfaces, data protocols, smartphone/PC integration, connection to smartphone health platforms, 3rd party integration with health platforms, connection to health care system/middleware, type of gathered health data, integrated sensors, medical device certification, access to user data, developer‐access to device, and market status. Devices from the same manufacturer with similar functionalities/characteristics were identified under the same device family. Furthermore, we classified the systems in three subgroups of relevance for different actors in mobile health monitoring systems: EHR providers, software developers, and patient users.
Results - We identified 362 different mobile health monitoring devices belonging to 193 device families. Based on an analysis of these systems, we identified the following general challenges:
- Few systems have a Conformité Européene (CE) marking class II or above, or approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Few systems use the standardized Bluetooth Low Energy GATT profile for wireless transfer of health data
- Few systems support health middleware
- Approximately 30% of the device families provide the user access to the source data. However, only 16% allow the transfer of data through direct communication with the device (i.e., without using a proprietary cloud‐based service)
Conclusions - Few of the identified mobile health monitoring systems use standardized, open communication protocols, which would allow the user to directly acquire sensor data. Use of open protocols can provide mobile health (mHealth) application developers an alternative to proprietary cloud services and communication tools, which are often closely integrated with the devices. Emerging new types of sensors, often intended for everyday use, have a potential to supplement health records systems with data that can enrich patient care.