UK Wearable Penetration to Double by 2016 - eMarketer
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UK Wearable Penetration to Double by 2016

Health and fitness use cases drive adoption

October 12, 2015 | Mobile

Although UK adoption of wearables is fairly small, particularly due to the fact that the devices are somewhat new to the market, the use of health-related mobile apps to track exercise, food intake and activity is helping elevate this technology category.

UK Internet of Things (IoT) Device Owner Penetration, by Device, 2015 & 2016 (% of internet users)

Many marketers are buzzing about the internet of things (IoT) as more devices and screens enter the space. Wearables are one of such device that is making an impact in the UK. In fact, wearable device users will double from 7% of internet users in 2015 to 14% in 2016, according to September 2015 research from Lansons, a London-based consultancy.

What’s driving this growth? Most likely the increased use of mobile apps to monitor health-related behavior. The same survey found that UK internet users consider mobile apps and online communities to be useful for diagnosing symptoms or providing reassurance about health issues. While online forums are still the No. 1 go-to for adults ages 18 and over, mobile apps are not too far behind.

UK Internet Users Who Find Mobile Apps and Online Forums Useful for Health Information*, by Age, Sep 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

A variety of health-related mobile apps are popular among UK mobile users, including exercise apps like Nike Training Club, calorie and diet tracking apps like MyFitnessPal, and activity tracking apps such as Fitbit, which also ties directly in to a wearable device. These mobile apps have changed users’ thinking and behavior. As a matter of fact, 82% of respondents said that exercise apps positively impacted their health and well-being and 74% said that those same apps changed the way they manage and think about their welfare. Health-tracking and food- and diet-tracking apps received similar responses.

In general, wearables are not only helping improve overall health and well-being, but users are also willing to share personal information via this device, per April 2015 research by PowerReviews. More than a third of UK smartphone users said they would be inclined to share fitness and health information through their wearable device.

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