Health Wearables Nascent; Have Long-Term Benefits
Wealth wearables are in their early days, but these can have long-term benefits and consumers are keen to adopt these devices, according to a new PwC report, which states that the true adoption will only come when device makers offer affordable solutions that provide greater value.
The report reveals only 21 percent of 1,000 consumers surveyed own a wearable, and fewer than half of device owners use them daily. Yet, over 80 percent of respondents said they believe mHealth wearables can make healthcare more convenient, and wearables, overall, can help improve safety regarding child and foster a healthier lifestyle.
Devices that are capable for monitoring vital signs such as heart rate and body temperature, could boost average life expectancy by 10 years. More than 40 percent also see potential for nutrition and exercise monitoring to reduce obesity, PwC says.
“Simple social strategies might not work well for health wearables. Few consumers are interested in sharing health data with friends and family. Social media strategies for health wearables must be engaging, interoperable and intelligent if they are to succeed,” it says.
Cost remains a big obstacle as the research reveals that most consumers don’t want to pay big money for a mHealth wearable. But 68 percent of the report’s respondents also said they are interested in being paid or receiving insurance premium discounts if they wear a device.
Other wearable adoption hurdles, according to PwC, are data security, privacy and transparency by device vendors regarding data use. Of those polled, 82 percent are concerned about privacy invasion and 86 percent believe the devices make them more vulnerable in terms of security breaches.
“Wearable data can be used by insurers and employers to better manage health, wellness and healthcare costs, by pharmaceutical and life sciences companies to run more robust clinical trials, and by healthcare providers to capture data to support outcomes-based reimbursement. But it will be critical to address the consumer concerns that we’ve identified, such as cost, privacy, and ease of use,” Vaughn Kauffman, principal at PwC Health Industries, said in an announcement.
But the wearables market will eventually go sky-high, says the study, as Gartner also predicted wearable technology in the future including medical technology is estimated to be $12.6 billion by 2018.
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