More People Using Wearable Devices To Manage Health

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James MaloneWELLNESS TRENDS
By James Malone

According to a new survey from Makovsky and Kelton called “Pulse of Online Health”, 79% of Americans would be willing to use a wearable device to manage their health.

Whilst technology provides convenience it has also caused us to live sedentary lifestyles at home and at work, but maybe technology can be an important part of the solution.

The Power of Technology

Technological breakthroughs are revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare. They have changed the structure and organization of the entire medical field. Wearable devices continue to grow and adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of a modern world and the choice of health-related apps is endless. They encourage us to be more engaged in our own fitness, help us not to forget to exercise or take medication, and they offer a platform for patients and doctors to share data and work together.

Gil Bashe, executive vice president of Makovsky Health said, “Smartphones and wearables are driving a major behavioral shift in consumer health and wellness.” He also stated in the report that beyond the desire to speed access to information, consumers are using technology to engage proactively in managing their health.

Survey Findings

The findings released are very encouraging for corporate wellness programs and show that Americans are now more willing to use wearable devices to manage their health.

Mobile health platforms are increasingly providing great opportunities for individuals to improve and manage their own health. 66% of Americans would use a mobile app to manage health-related issues.

When it comes to downloads and using mobile health apps, the top preferences are associated with the following:

  • Tracking diet/nutrition (47%)
  • Medication reminders (46%)
  • Tracking symptoms (45%)
  • Tracking physical activity (44%)

Wearable healthcare devices are those devices that are worn or attached to your body to monitor changes in various organs or body parts. Some of these include smart watches, wearable bands, wristbands, and pedometers. These devices sync with users’ smartphones and tablets.

Their preferences, however, are slightly different form that of mobile apps. The most preferred apps are associated with:

  • Tracking physical activity (52%)
  • Tracking symptoms (45%)
  • Managing a personal health issue or condition (43%)
  • Tracking sleep patterns (41%)
  • Tracking diet/nutrition (39%)

Growing Consumer Confidence

Managing personal health through wearable devices means contributing to a dramatic shift in behavior when it comes to personal transparency. Over the previous years, health information has been confidential where patients and physicians have restrictions on sharing personal health information. In today’s modern world, however, consumers and physicians cannot share health information online fast enough as the benefits are now much clearer and consumer confidence grows.

The survey also states that 88% of Americans would be willing to provide their personal information for better care and treatment options. This proves that many consumers see digital advancements as a valuable means to improve their health management, and an opportunity for more streamlined physician engagement.

How Technology is Improving Healthcare

Medical technology is becoming more personalized and an indispensable tool to improve our health and quality of life. Digital innovations have now made it possible for us to use wearable devices to access medical information, monitor vital signs, take tests at home and perform a wide range of tasks. Clearly, the technology has given the healthcare industry a much-needed upgrade. With health being more personalized, many companies are now also adding wearable devices to their corporate wellness programs as seen from FitBits phenomenal growth.

Be aware that if you intend on implementing such programs, the privacy of the individual and their rights should always be considered and an OPT-IN and OPT-OUT policy is the easiest way to implement this.

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James MaloneWELLNESS TRENDS
By James Malone

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