Digital Health: Wearables in the workplace

This article addresses some of the legal issues posed by digital health technologies, looking at employment law and regulatory specifics of health wearables in the UK and beyond.

​Digital health devices, including wearable devices such as Fitbit and Samsung Watch (wearables) are now familiar accessories both in and out of the workplace. Such devices are capable of capturing an array of metrics - anything from step count to sleep patterns and heart rate monitoring - giving the wearer an insight into their activity levels and general health.

With almost half of us now owning some form of wearable, of which the most popular are fitness trackers, their popularity shows no signs of receding. The corporate world’s appetite for such devices shows no sign of relenting either: in a recent survey of healthcare providers, nearly two thirds believe that digital health will be one of the top sub-sectors of healthcare M&A over the next year.

On the supply side, manufacturers of medical technologies join the growing trend towards the digitalisation of healthcare and increasingly integrate wearables, which may or may not qualify as medical devices, into their products portfolio.

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