Google and Fitbit announced that they would be teaming up to make wearable technology that will ultimately improve the quality of healthcare. According to the official press release distributed by the companies, Fitbit will have access to Google’s Cloud Healthcare API which will allow healthcare professionals access a patient’s electronic medical records in real time. Statistics from FitBit such as patient’s movement, heart rate, and sleep patterns will be joined with Google’s EMR with the intention of helping healthcare professionals have as much information as possible to lead to more personalized treatments.
While ideal in theory, how much data can be stored, accessed and used are not fully available to the public. Nor is there a timeline on when this technology will be available to healthcare professionals but there are already many legal ramifications speculated.
One of the most likely scenarios is the impact on a personal injury plaintiff’s damages. A personal injury attorney will argue that the injury to his client has impacted them to the point of not being able to sleep, walk, or stand. Many insurance companies do not want to spend the resources to hire a third-party investigator to follow the client around. But with wearable technology now measuring distance walked and sleep duration, it will be easy to contest.
However, whether or not Google will provide this information outright without being subpoenaed is up for debate.