Framingham, MA – July 10, 2014 – today announced the availability of a two new reports examining fitness activity trackers and consumer engagement. The first report, “Vendor Assessment: Consumer Engagement — Fitness Activity Trackers, Improving Health One Step at a Time,” (Document # HI249519) examines the consumer market for wearable fitness and activity trackers and profiles four companies that are working with healthcare organizations to incorporate their products and services into the healthcare organizations' health and wellness programs. Companies profiled in the report include BodyMedia, FitBit, FitLinxx, and Gruve.
The second report, “Perspective: The Consumer Experience — Why Consumers Stop Using Fitness Trackers,” (Document# HI249613), provides insights from IDC Health Insights' Cross-Industry
Consumer Experience Survey on why consumers stopped using their fitness and activity trackers.
Healthcare organizations looking to incorporate wearable devices into their wellness programs can use
the findings of this survey to understand the common challenges associated with consumer adoption
of wearable devices and develop strategies to overcome them.
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Health and fitness activity trackers make up the majority of the wearable technology market today. Healthcare organizations are evaluating how they can be incorporated into their health and wellness initiatives as a means of better engaging their members and patients in their quest toward reaching their health goals. According to the new IDC Health Insights reports, education of the benefits of using fitness and activity trackers will play an important role in deploying health and wellness programs that incorporate wearable devices. This is true not only for consumers but for their care providers. Creating the proper incentives to use the device and providing actionable information that consumers can use to change their behavior will ensure consistent use by the consumers and ultimately help them achieve their health goals.
"To control escalating healthcare costs, especially for chronic conditions, healthcare organizations are
evaluating a variety of options to engage consumers and encourage them to take a more active role in
managing their health," said Lynne A. Dunbrack, research vice president, IDC Health Insights.
"Sitting is the new smoking. Clinical research shows that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to poor
health status. Consistent use of fitness and activity trackers with built-in sensors combined with mobile
health applications enables consumers to improve their health."
A significant challenge is that, after the initial infatuation with their device and its various data outputs, consumers of all ages and health statuses lose interest and stop using their activity tracker. According to the Cross-Industry Consumer Experience Survey, one out of three consumers who are using or have used a fitness and activity tracker reported that they stopped using it. The primary reason given when asked why they stopped was that they lost interest in tracking their activity level. A number of factors contribute to why consumers lose interest: wearability, mobile application challenges, device look and feel, informational challenges, and other motivational challenges.
Lynne continued, “If health and wellness programs that use fitness and activity trackers are to be successful, they must create sustained interest among consumers to continue using these devices and their accompanying health applications. Furthermore, careful attention must be paid to program design to ensure ongoing consumer engagement and successful outcomes. Advancements in wearable technologies that address current usability issues will help to enhance the consumer experience and encourage ongoing and consistent use. Until then, it will be one step at a time to get consumers to actively engage in using a fitness and activity tracker.”
IDC Health Insights assists health businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the payer, provider and life sciences industries. International Data Corporation ( IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of