Wearable features

Study after study shows that consumers, healthcare professionals, insurance companies, and employers are all interested in wearable Health Tech devices to help monitor and improve the health of the user. So it is a bit surprising to see the results of a new survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB), as reported in an article published by eMarketer. It may be due to their sampling technique, or by the way that the questions were posted, but the survey appears to indicate that consumers are not all that interested in wearable device features that monitor health factors.

In fact, out of the dozen features listed in the article, it can be argued that only one was health related: blood pressure monitoring. This fell in the middle of the pack, with 41% of the respondents citing it as a desirable feature. The three other factors ahead of it on the list were all about fitness: heart rate monitoring, pedometer, and calorie tracked, but these didn’t make the top three. The most appealing features apparently are a touchscreen, GPS, and being waterproof.

Without knowing more about the study and how it was conducted, I have to conclude that the results are skewed somehow. One factor may be that consumers truly want health monitoring features in a wearable device, but they just don’t want to pay for them. The fact is that widespread adoption may have to be driven by those who stand to gain the most financially from the use of these devices. At this point, it would appear that healthcare providers, employers, and insurance companies will see the most direct economic benefit, and so we may need to look to them to provide the devices that individual consumers will need to achieve better healthcare outcomes.