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Technology companies’ interests in health and fitness has skyrocketed in the past few years. Today, there is a wide range of wearable devices, from simple pedometers that count your steps, to devices that monitor your sleep, body temperature and heart rate. Yet, we are still early stages of this process. As wearable technology becomes less expensive and more powerful, in the not too distant future, wearables will become an integral part of the healthcare system.
Survey Sampling International recently conducted a survey of 500 insured consumers who use mobile-enabled health applications or devices. About a half those surveyed said they use fitness apps, 46% said they use a food and nutrition app, 39% a weight loss app, 38% a wearable activity tracking device, 28% a pharmacy app, 22% a patient portal, 19% a blood pressure app and 14% a symptoms navigator.
According to the survey, some 42% of respondents said their biggest motivator to use digital health tools is knowing their numbers. Improving their health was the next biggest motivator accounting for 26% of responses, followed by accountability 19%.
Just over a half of respondents said they are enrolled in a wellness respondents and two-thirds said their program offered incentives for using digital health. This, however, was not a big motivator, with only 10% citing incentives as a reason for using mobile-enabled health applications or devices.
“Digital health tools have exploded in growth — but more so in the lifestyle management category than in clinical/disease management.” HealthMine CEO Bryce Williams said in a statement.
“Every member may not benefit from an activity tracker. For these tools to be effective, they must be tailored to individual needs and connect to the individual’s bigger picture of health data.”