Ask the Doctor: Why Wearable Healthcare Devices Benefit Patient Care


Lana Nasief, MD, primary care provider at St. Joseph Hospital Primary & Specialty Care Services – Nashua

Q: What inspired you to focus on primary care?
When I was in medical school, I enjoyed each clinical rotation. I chose to focus on primary care because every patient and every day is different. I never know what to expect and I enjoy that challenge.

Q: When and why did you join this St. Joe’s practice?
I joined this practice in November 2023. I was drawn to St. Joe’s Mission to heal and care for all those in the communities we serve. I also appreciate that the Mission is supported by the resources needed to consistently execute it. In addition, St. Joe’s location was a plus. My husband and I have always loved to travel. We’ve lived in Jordan, multiple areas in the US, along with some other countries. We were looking for an area to settle in that offered historical significance, varied architecture and diverse landscapes – New England was an ideal fit.

Q: How did you become interested in wearable healthcare devices?
While doing my residency, I became what I call a healthcare innovation enthusiast. I was so interested in the topic, that I enrolled in a part-time, online healthcare innovation master’s degree program at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona. When technology is applied to healthcare, specifically to ambulatory devices like smartwatches and wearable monitors, data is efficiently gathered, which could play a role in improving a patient’s health.

Q: How would you like your patients to use wearable technology?
I encourage my patients to consider the potential benefits of wearables in complementing their in-person or telemedicine visits. For example, a patient may come to an in-person visit armed with additional data from a wearable regarding their vital signs, daily steps, sleep quality, etc. or they could share that data in a virtual visit. Either way, I can explain what that data may indicate, ask additional questions and determine the next steps.

That being said, it is important to remember that these types of devices offer a snapshot in time, a peek into lifestyle habits. The data they collect is important for tracking details and monitoring fluctuating symptoms, but that must be used along with other information and a physical exam to diagnose and treat a patient.

Q: How does this type of healthcare data benefit a patient’s care?
If a patient has more information about what’s happening with their body, they can make better lifestyle choices and take better care of their body. Maybe a patient has digestive issues. Tracking whether they are nauseous or bloated, how they feel after eating certain foods, how frequently they feel ill, etc. can be key to a diagnosis.

Medicine is becoming even more personalized, which is great, as it takes into account various factors that might make a treatment plan more fitting for a certain patient. For instance, continuous glucose monitoring devices can provide us with the data needed to tailor diabetic treatment plans based on a patient’s lifestyle, along with their unique physiological responses to their habits. This method of collecting data helps me learn more about a patient’s lifestyle and daily experiences. It can also provide an additional method of picking up possible abnormalities. I then analyze that data and make suggestions on how my patients can take better care of themselves and hopefully, be healthier and happier.

Dr. Nasief speaks English and Arabic. She is accepting new patients. To learn more about her, please click here. To learn more about St. Joseph Hospital Primary & Specialty Care Services – Nashua click here.