Health and Fitness Spurs Wearables Adoption - eMarketer

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Health and Fitness Spurs Wearables Adoption

Eight in 10 would share health data if they got better care from their doctor

November 3, 2015

Consumer intention to be more active and lose weight is spearheading the adoption of wearables, according to an August 2015 survey.

Reasons that US Wearable Device Owners Purchased Their Device, Aug 2015 (% of respondents)

According to Rock Health, more than two-thirds of respondents said they purchased a wearable device to be active, and almost half of US wearable device owners invested in one with the intent to lose weight. While 25% of respondents purchased a wearable as an experiment and 14% bought one because of social reasons, health is one of the main factors that’s driving growth.

Though adoption of digital health technologies like online health reviews is significantly higher than that of wearables, usage of these devices is growing. eMarketer estimates that, in 2015, 39.5 million US adults will use wearables, including smartwatches, fitness trackers and other devices. That’s a jump of 57.7% over 2014. While penetration among US adults is just 16.0% this year, eMarketer expects that to double by 2018, when the wearables population reaches 81.7 million users.

Attitudes Toward Sharing Personal Health Data Among US Internet Users, Aug 2015 (% of respondents)

Not only are users buying wearables to stay more active and track their progress, they are also willing to share personal health data—but only for improved personal healthcare. When asked about their attitudes toward sharing personal health data, more than nine in 10 said they should be in control of who has access to it. However, eight in 10 also noted that they would share their data so they could receive better care from their doctor.

Who are these users willing to share their personal health data with? Mainly physicians. More than eight in 10 respondents said they would be willing to disclose their health history and physical activity to a physician, and more than two-thirds said they would share their genetic data. Insurers and research organizations rounded out the top three service providers and organizations that these users would be willing to share personal information with.

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