The COVID-19 pandemic created the necessity to access medical care from one’s home, giving rise to a new standard of healthcare through “telemedicine.” However, although efficient in many ways, the most significant limitation of telemedicine was the inability of doctors to monitor their patients’ conditions remotely. Wearable devices, also known as “wearables,” provide a way to bridge the gap. Over the last five years, wearables grew to be one of the fastest-growing industries in healthcare, seeing over $5 billion in growth. However, this also came with a myriad of legal concerns that may prevent wearables from being utilized efficiently. This case note discusses three legal issues that arise from the utilization of wearable technology in telemedicine: the effects of wearables in cases of medical malpractice and the scope of liability of doctors, the effects on the standard of care and the traditional doctor-patient relationship, and privacy and confidentiality concerns from utilizing third-party wearables to collect patient data. In order to fully utilize the potential of wearables in the healthcare industry, specific regulatory frameworks should be adopted to address such concerns.
Health Monitoring From Home: Legal Considerations of Wearable Technology in Telemedicine,
SMU Sci. & Tech. L. Rev.