Health Wearables: Is There Cause For Concern?

Health Wearables- A few years back, the wristwatch of a man named Bob Burdett saved his life. Bob had flipped his bike and lay unconscious, not knowing he would meet his kid that day. Meanwhile, his watch had picked up the fall and notified 911 to take the appropriate action. Gabe, Bob’s son, received texts containing his father’s most recent locations, from the scene of the accident to the hospital. The event quickly gained widespread attention, providing amazing proof of the capabilities of smartwatches and also some insights into the thoughts of the ‘typical’ wearer of high-tech wearables. It was discovered that Bob had made sure his smartwatch was set to “hard fall detection” and had added Gabe as an emergency contact. Does this suggest that wearable technology involves any other areas of user psychology?

The use of wireless technology, such as mobile devices, in the practise or pursuit of health is known as “mHealth,” or mobile health. The market for medical equipment is expanding at a rate of 27% each year. The majority of mHealth users claim that wearing a wearable makes it easier for them to lead healthy lives that include regular exercise, nutritious food, and restful sleep. The term “quantified self” refers to the self-representation in pertinent data points that is used to characterise mass self-tracking activity. Relevant data points in the health and fitness sector include temperature, activity level, sleep pattern, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate. Using these indicators, the wearable user keeps an eye on her health and bases her healthy lifestyle decisions on them.

Health Wearables

It should come as no surprise that conscientiousness, a strong indicator of lifespan and health, has been linked to self-tracking by academics. The difficult objectives people frequently face at work or in their familial relationships—long-term objectives like career, sales, or institution-building—may also contribute to these internal standards. Objectively leading a healthy lifestyle may even be seen by some as “low-hanging fruit” in comparison to these other difficult, long-term goals.

A technology is effective in terms of adoption when users intend to continue using it once these incentives have prompted usage. For a theoretical foundation to comprehend this, the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) is frequently employed. It states that a smartwatch’s adoption and sustained use can be predicted by performance expectancy (Will it improve my health? ), effort expectancy (How easy is it to use? ), social influence (Do others think I should use it? ), and specific facilitating conditions (such as a culture of self-tracking or exercise in public places). Health wearables perform admirably overall in all four categories.

Health Wearables

Health Wearables Details

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Health care firms manufacture a variety of gadgets that assist patients in periodically monitoring health signs, such as ECG monitors and blood pressure cuffs, but the focus of our study is on smartwatches and smart patches because of their increasing consumer penetration. 39% of participants in Deloitte’s 2021 Connectivity and Mobile Trends poll reported owning a smartwatch. Their most typical applications in the past have been to aid people in becoming fitter, losing weight, and surpassing their previous personal bests in races (figure 2).

However, since new hardware, software, and applications have made smartwatches into individualised health clinics, more and more individuals are using them to track their health rather than just their running speed. The majority of smartwatches now come with built-in heart rate monitors, and some of these devices are approved by the FDA to identify irregularities like atrial fibrillation, a leading cause of stroke. The number of customers utilising these sophisticated gadgets to manage chronic ailments and identify warning signs of dangerous diseases is expected to rise.

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The Motivation For Using Health Wearables Is layered

From an aerial perspective, it appears that the pursuit of the quantified self aligns with the contemporary society’s affinity and knowledge of data. The prevailing expression of our day lies halfway between the adage ‘what cannot be measured cannot be improved’ and its more widely accepted variant ‘what cannot be tallied doesn’t count’. This is particularly true for white-collar professionals whose daily work involves a lot of math and counting: making it to the tube in time, putting together a convincing deck with relevant data to impress a room full of bosses, monitoring the KPIs that determine her bonus payout, or even keeping an eye on her net worth across various assets. In this exercise, a smartwatch makes sense and fits in well.We may speculate about additional possible reasons for wearable use based on the available data.

A wearable may, for instance, show a clever fusion of business and traditional fashion sensibilities. Certain individuals may get satisfaction from a wearable that is connected to their self-perception, which might enable them to achieve goals they were unaware of before. Appearing busy or health-conscious is an example of a hidden motive, since consumers may see users of goods that display activity or health as significant and remarkable. Less complex incentives can also be at play. A user’s wearable, for instance, may be assisting her in deriving benefit from scenarios such as navigating a large office complex in between appointments. It is also well known that consumers react more favourably to the identical programme on their phone than on their PC; wearables may experience a similar phenomenon as a result of users wishing to avoid what they perceive to be an information overload or dependence on smartphones.

Finally, beyond just being prepared to pay for a gadget or the intrinsic value of fitness in the user’s lifestyle, certain users may be more inclined to utilise a fitness-tracking wearable than others. The ideal wearable user may be seen to possess what psychologists refer to as a systematic cognitive style, which is characterised by meticulous preparation and a methodical thought process. There is a favourable correlation between conscientiousness and a methodical approach. A conscientious person is organised, responsible, and self-disciplined; they can plan ahead, wait pleasure, manage impulses like binge eating comparatively better, and are industrious. These traits could even be associated with an accomplished, goal-oriented metropolitan lifestyle.

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The Blind Turn

Experts in business argue that a more comprehensive product-market fit has to come after a more microscopic product-user fit. Nonetheless, product-user fit frameworks are typically static and pay little attention to the dynamic, time-varying interaction that exists between the user and the product. Here, we provide an example. Fitness tracking is quickly adopted by users with enthusiasm, but they run the risk of developing a dependency. Stories of nervous users failing to reach health goals—often irrational—set by their smart trackers abound on the internet.

When a gadget malfunctions and stops recording a physical exercise session, users could consider it to be void. According to the self-determination theory of human motivation, the key to enjoying the usage of a product or equipment is relatedness, or the sensation of belonging with others, and autonomy, or the belief that one has a choice in one’s actions. Nevertheless, the bad feelings associated with a potential wearable reliance may jeopardise relatedness and privacy. Since relatedness decreases if one feels negatively about their body image in the social or peer group, it may be connected to the “social influence” component of UTAUT.

Conversely, the wearable’s beeping notifications might start to be perceived by the user as disruptions to her regular routine. This may be connected to studies that demonstrate the unfavourable impact of person-specific counsel in customised mobile messaging on app engagement. Remember how meticulous a person’s methodical cognitive approach is: In comparison to others, conscientious people may endure longer periods of dissatisfaction and correspondingly higher levels of stress or stress-related failure. Is it possible that a diligent user’s goal-focused approach, maybe aided by improved planning with fine-grained data, helps her get over these anxieties that are heightened by using health wearables? Or would it prompt her to stop using the wearable sooner?

To improve the user experience, wearable designers consider things like utility, simplicity of use, behavioural change strategies, and the wearable’s flow or “customer delight” experience. Although these variables indicate the likelihood that a user would stick with a mobile health product, it’s important to understand what triggers a user’s degree of device satisfaction. No matter how wonderful the technology is thought to be, satisfaction is a particularly essential feature that might be affected by things like reliance or worry associated to not achieving the health goals. For instance, a user’s level of satisfaction with a device’s functionality or features is influenced by her past and present level of health consciousness. This operates differently depending on the environment. For instance, a user who is less concerned about their health may attribute their adoption of good practises and continued usage to the immersive experience provided by a wristwatch.

After using the wearable for a while, the user’s awareness of their health may grow, and their contentment may be impacted if they feel that the immersive experience was lacking. Wearables have done a fantastic job of successfully fusing technology with a healthy lifestyle. However, imagine if a certain percentage of users reach a point where they become frustrated with their gadgets and stop using them. The health wearables market may thus lose its appeal as well as the corresponding use cases and USPs. The dilemma here is that many devoted wearable users may have a poorer experience than casual wearers because of reliance or privacy sensitivity. In an effort to develop healthy habits, many people may have given up on more traditional forms of exercise, such as intense sports, the cross trainer, or the treadmill, in favour of wearables. They could experience a sense of being stuck.

Conclusion

Health wearables have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people strive to take control of their health and well-being. These devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, offer a range of features that can help individuals monitor their activity levels, track their sleep patterns, and even measure their heart rate. With the ability to sync with smartphones and other devices, health wearables provide users with real-time data and insights into their overall health. Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, manage stress levels, or simply stay motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle, health wearables can be a valuable tool in achieving your goals.

Health Wearables FAQ’S

What are the positive impacts of consumer wearables?

With wearable technology, we can rapidly see text messages, track our whereabouts via GPS, and keep an eye on our fitness levels. The best part is that most of the gadgets that let us accomplish this are portable and hands-free, so we never have to take them out of our pockets.

What are the concerns about wearables?

Data gathering and storage is one of the main ethical issues with wearable digital health equipment. These gadgets gather a lot of personal data as they track and monitor health-related data, such heart rate, activity levels, and sleep habits.

What is a negative impact of wearable devices?

These gadgets could have a detrimental effect on certain people's health. For instance, it can be suggested that someone with an eating issue not use an app to track how much food they eat.

Do wearables actually improve health?

starting and maintaining your motion. Research indicates that wearing a fitness tracker on a regular basis—a wristwatch, conventional pedometer, or another wearable device—can raise your daily step count by more than a mile, especially if you've set a target for yourself, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

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