The self-monitoring technology market is getting more competitive than ever now that Google Fit is available via the Play Store, officially becoming a rival to Apple’s HealthKit. But with so many self-monitoring devices available on the market, the question arises: are patients actually buying and using fitness tracking devices to use with platforms like Fit and HealthKit?
According to a study conducted by Google Consumer Insights, out of 979 adults surveyed 74.9 percent do not use wearable devices for tracking health and fitness. Moreover, 27.2 percent stated a lack of interest in the products, while 17.7 percent reported concerns with the cost of mhealth devices.
Not surprisingly, 57.1 percent of respondents said they would use a fitness tracking device if it meant lower health insurance premiums. It would seem, then, that insurance companies have the power to get patients using health and fitness tracking devices. Wearable and mobile devices collect data on a user’s exercise, movement, heart rate and other health observations that could potentially lower the patient’s health risks. Lower health risks mean lower risk profiles, which is what health insurance companies want.
With patient portals becoming more important in the healthcare sector, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to predict alliances between patient portal vendors and companies that make wearable devices. After all, smart watches and other mhealth wearables collect valuable information on patients’ health that can improve preventative care. If the information collected were to be uploaded to a patient portal, physicians could review the data and possibly prevent serious health problems – a win-win situation, for patients, providers and insurance companies.
Would you be more willing to use a patient portal if it integrated easily with health and fitness tracking devices and apps that could increase engagement and improve patient health?