Image source: Fitbit

Wearable tech users willing to share data with doctors but not employers

Nine out of ten people are willing to share health data from a wearable with their doctor, but only one out of three with their employer says a new report by Accenture.

The global professional services company surveyed over 2,300 Americans and found that wearable tech use has nearly quadrupled since 2014, from just 9% to 33% today. Three-quarters of those Accenture spoke to see fitness trackers, smartwatches and other wearables as beneficial to understanding their health.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Perhaps more interestingly, in addition to our family and friends we are all too happy to share our health stats with medical personnel. In fact some 90% of us have no problem sharing personal data with our doctor, while nurses and other healthcare professional rank only slightly lower at 88%. Some 72% of us are willing to share health data with our insurance company, up on 63% last year.

But we are very reluctant to do the same when it comes to employers. Only 38% of us are willing to let them in on our health stats, slightly below government agencies at 41%. Previous research by PwC shows that this is largely due to lack of trust. The biggest barrier to adoption is data privacy and the lack of trust their employer would use the data to their benefit.

New study challenges common myths on workplace wearables
Image source: Fitbit

The study also found growing demand for digital health services as more and more health consumers become accepting of machines. One in five respondents said they have already used AI-powered healthcare services, and most said they are likely to use home-based diagnostics, virtual health assistants and virtual nurses that monitor health conditions at home. Consumer use of mobile and tablet health apps has tripled over the past four years to 48%.

“Driven by experiences outside of healthcare, consumers increasingly expect to use digital technologies to control when, where and how they receive care services,” said Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D., who leads Accenture’s health practice globally.

“By harnessing digital technologies in this way, healthcare will increasingly tap digital technologies to empower human judgment, free up clinician time and personalize care services to put control in the patients’ hands.”

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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