Monday, August 17, 2015

Survey: Consumers Prefer Keeping Wearable Device Data from Insurers

According to research firm Parks Associates, the majority of those surveyed indicated that they are not willing to share data collected from wearable devices, even if it meant receiving a discount on their health insurance premiums. In spite of this reluctance, these same consumers were willing to share data for the purpose of troubleshooting the devices themselves.

The results of the survey varied significantly by device. Forty-two percent of digital pedometer owners were willing to share data in order to receive a health insurance discount; for smartwatch owners the total was 35 percent; and for sleep-quality monitor owners it was 26 percent. Nevertheless, a solid majority of device owners was not willing to share data.

Consumers are justified in their concerns about health data privacy. The Los Angeles Times told in July of a security breach in October 2014 where hackers compromised UCLA Health Systems’ computer network, putting 4.5 million patients’ sensitive data at risk. What was troubling about the incident was that it took nearly seven months from the time suspicious activity was discovered in October, to May 5, which is when investigators determined the system was hacked. Additionally troubling was that the data was not even encrypted.

From the article "Survey: Consumers Prefer Keeping Wearable Device Data from Insurers" by Christopher Mohr.

Next: 1 in 10 U.S. Households to Purchase Smart Watch in 2016
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