Deloitte’s 2022 Connectivity & Mobile Trends Survey is out and gives us insights into the current state of virtual healthcare and the use of wearables for health and fitness. Let’s look at the big takeaways.
The study finds that telehealth engagement is high, with almost half of the respondents (49%) reporting that they attended virtual visits as patients during the past year. Millennials outpaced the average with 59% telehealth use. And how did these telehealth patients rate their experiences? A whopping 92% said they were either somewhat satisfied (44%) or very satisfied (48%) with their virtual care, an overall rise of 10 points from 2021. While conventional wisdom might lead one to believe that younger — and perhaps more tech-savvy — patients were the most satisfied, Boomers had the highest satisfaction levels, with 59% in that age group saying that they were “very satisfied.”
As for the benefits of virtual visits, survey respondents gave high marks for convenience, ease in getting slots for appointments, and the reduced chance of getting ill through in-person interactions. As for challenges, they include technology issues, trouble measuring vital signs, and the lack of face-to-face interactions. And the 49% rate of virtual visits does represent a slight decline; last year, when concerns over COVID-19 were objectively higher, 52% of respondents to Deloitte’s 2021 survey reported having virtual healthcare visits as patients.
When it comes to wearables, 41% of respondents said they owned smartwatches and fitness trackers. And 9 out of 10 respondents in that group said they use these wearables for fitness and health monitoring. The most common uses include counting daily steps, tracking pulse rate, monitoring heart rate, and tracking sleep. And these users are sharing the data that their wearables collect; 55% of device owners said they shared their data with their healthcare providers.
How effective are these wearables? The study found that they “deliver measurable health benefits.” Or at least that’s what a majority of the wearers believe. About 7 out of 10 respondents who own these wearables credit smartwatches and fitness trackers with improving their health and fitness; 3 out of 10 in that group said their health and fitness were “significantly better.”
While the study indicates a bright future for health and wellness wearables, it also shows that their use raises concerns: security and privacy. Forty percent of the respondents who use smartwatches and fitness trackers are concerned about data security, and over 40% expressed concern over location tracking on the devices.