Report: Consumer Adoption of Biosensing Wearable Devices Is Low

June 13, 2014 in News

Although there is a growing interest in biosensing wearable devices among health care companies and employers, consumer adoption of the products is low, according to a report by Rock Health, Modern Healthcare‘s “Vital Signs reports (Tahir, “Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 6/11).


Biosensing wearable devices are a combination of biosensors and wearable devices that record activity within an individual’s body (Rock Health report, 6/9). Devices include:

  • Ingestible pills;
  • Smart clothing;
  • Watches; and
  • Wrist bands.

According to “Vital Signs,” Apple’s recently released HealthKit is one of the latest biosensing wearables (“Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 6/13).

Apple’s product includes both the platform, called HealthKit, and a user-facing application called Health (iHealthBeat, 6/3).

Report Details, Findings

The Rock Health report, which collates several reports and surveys, provides a market forecast for the devices, as well as an analysis of how the data collected can be leveraged to help consumers, particularly physicians and employers, to better monitor patients’ and employees’ health.

According to an Endeavour Partners survey cited in the report, fewer than 50% of those with a biosensing wearable were still using it after 24 months. The report cited several reasons for the decline in use, including issues related to:

  • Reliability;
  • Convenience; and
  • Functionality (Rock Health report, 6/9).

Despite questions about how many consumers use the devices, the report cited analyst findings that show a progressive rise in market value expectations. For example:

  • A January 2013 analyst report predicted sales would reach $5.8 billion by 2018;
  • Two August 2013 reports estimated $12.6 billion and $19 billion in sales by 2018; and  
  • Reports from April projected that the market could reach $20.6 billion or $30.2 billion by 2018 (“Vital Signs,” Modern Healthcare, 6/11).

Healthcare Implications

The report noted that the technology has the potential to change the way people seek health care.

With more specific functions and better integration with established health care services and providers, the devices could:

  • Capture data for new clinical trials;
  • Promote healthy behavior change;
  • Provide early diagnosis and remote monitoring; and
  • Support telehealth services (Rock Health report, 6/9).
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