RockHealth 2016 Survey

Fitness devices were the low-hanging fruit of the wearable industry, and helped launch the market by appealing to early adopters with disposable income. As we’ve been predicting, the wearable market is shifting inexorably towards the health market. And now there’s an industry survey that has the numbers to prove this shift.

Rock Health has released their second annual report on “Digital Health Consumer Adoption.” Based on a survey of 4,000 consumers in the U.S., it provides important insights into the wearable Health Tech market. One of the key findings is that nearly half of the consumers surveyed can be considered “active digital health adopters.” Rock Health’s definition of this is someone who has used three or more categories of digital health tools during the past year. This is up from 2015, when only one in five qualified for this label. And the percentage of “non-adopters” — those who have not used any of these digital health tools — has dropped nearly in half, from 20% to just 12%.

The study notes that consumers are still concerned about the privacy of their data, but that more than three out of four are interested in sharing their health information in order to get better care from their doctors. Interestingly, 62% would share their health data for free to aid medical research, while only 42% would share it if they were paid to do so. Ownership of at least one wearable device has doubled, up from almost 12% to almost 25%.

As consumers get more actively involved in their own healthcare, wearables and other technologies give them the information and the tools they need to evaluate the information. This helps them make better choices and experience healthier outcomes. Proactive patients who participate in early detection and treatment are likely to help drive down healthcare costs.