Digital Health

Wearables Spur On Health Consumerization

by Jennifer Kent | Aug. 2, 2015

The wearables market for health and wellness is on the cusp of a significant stride forward, thanks to modern wearable technologies that provide the means to collect and manage health and wellness data in a more convenient and automated fashion. Parks Associates data shows growth in several wearables categories, including digital pedometers and GPS watches.

Wearable devices and their apps offer new means for consumers to manage their health and wellness. Wearables have emerged for fitness tracking, medical condition management, wellness monitoring, and personal safety assistance, among other use cases. New form factors like earbuds, headbands, patches, and smart fabrics enable the collection of new forms of data and push the use case horizon even further.

Parks Associates wearable device research shows U.S. consumers are interested in the benefits that wearable devices provide for health use cases:

  • 29% of U.S. broadband households own one connected health device, and 12% own multiple connected health devices.
  • More than 60% of future smart watch buyers plan to use a smart watch to track fitness.
  • 35% of U.S. smart watch owners are willing to share data from their device for a health insurance discount.

The adoption rate for connected health devices among U.S. broadband households increased from 24% in Q1 2013 to 29% in Q4 2014, opening the door for connected device manufacturers as well as service providers to take advantage of the growing consumerization in healthcare.

However, wearables innovations also disrupt traditional health and wellness product markets. They can be used as new tools for population health management and corporate wellness programs, for instance, but also threaten traditional fitness training and weight loss services. Furthermore, care providers struggle with the potential integration of wearables-generated health data into their medical information systems.

On September 9, Jennifer Kent will be moderating a wearables panel during the 2015 Connected Health Summit alongside these digital health executives:

  • Joe Catalano, Director of Enterprise Strategy, iHealth Labs
  • David Cloud, CEO, National Sleep Foundation
  • Ian Ferguson, VP, Marketing and Strategic Alliances, ARM
  • Noam Kedem, Head of Business Development, Lumo BodyTech
  • Steve Koenig, Sr. Director of Research, CEA

Each panelist will share their insights on the wearables market, the potential that wearables offer for healthier and better-engaged consumers, and the difficulties involved with incorporating wearables into care plans. We hope you can join us for the discussion!

Jennifer Kent

Jennifer Kent

Director, Research Quality & Product Development

As Director, Research Quality & Product Development, Jennifer manages Parks Associates' process for producing high-quality, relevant, and meaningful research. She acts as an internal advocate for Parks Associates clients and leads the company’s efforts at conceptualizing and implementing digestible, relevant research presented in an optimal manner. Jennifer is always looking at the most effective ways to provide research to Parks Associates clients.

Since joining Parks Associates in 2009, Jennifer has worked on the mobile and health research team, specializing in the connected health, mobile payment, and connected car markets, as well as the consumer research team, analyzing consumer data related to the connected home and consumer electronics markets.

Jennifer earned her Ph.D. in religion, politics, and society and an M.A. in church-state studies from Baylor University. She earned her B.A. in politics from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Industry Expertise: Digital Health Products and Services, Portable and Mobile Access Platforms and Applications

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