Once the novelty wears off, people abandon their health wearable devices, many of which require regular syncing, powering up and other steps needed to keep them running.
Only 10% of 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed who own wearables wear their devices every day, 7% wear them a few times a week and 2% wear them a few times a month.
That was one of the key findings of a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey released this week. PwC also released a study on the future of wearables, indicating that wearable technology is the next big thing, even if it hasn't quite yet caught on.
"Businesses need to have a game plan in place to act on the competitive opportunity, while taking note of the challenges," PwC said. "The rise of wearable devices will create new means for marketing, including smarter, more robust customer data collection, and stronger insights into user interaction."
Another finding: Consumers do not want to share wearable-device-generated health information with friends and family; they do however, trust their physician with that kind of data. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said they're not comfortable sharing any information about themselves.
The survey report: "Health Wearables, Early Days," revealed consumers have privacy concerns related to the electronic devices.
Only one in four users said they want to share exercise information or health information with friends and family through outlets such as social media. Even fewer want share their weight (15%), sleep schedule (12%), medicine intake (12%) or diet information (14%).
"If you are going to build a great solution, you have to meet the consumer where they are," Lee Shapiro, managing partner at venture capital firm 7wire Ventures, told PwC.
Asked who they trust with their wearable data, consumers ranked their primary care doctor most highly (54%); hospitals, pharmacies and dentists also ranked highly.
On the other hand, if an employer were to provide an employee with a wearable for free, 68% of consumers say they would wear them — streaming anonymous data to a pool in exchange for a break on their insurance premiums.
Even so, only 21% of the U.S. population owns a wearable. Most are not familiar with top consumer brands and the most popular mobile "medical device" among those surveyed was a smartphone — something that "isn't worn but instead resides close by in a pocket or purse" PwC said.
Even though few said they'd purchase a wearable, the market is expected to continue growing by leaps and bounds. By the end of this year, wearable companies will have shipped about 7.6 million units in the U.S., nearly twice as many as in 2013, according to PwC.
Consumers, do find value in health wearables. Most of those surveyed (56%) believed that the average life expectancy will grow by 10 years because wearables enable the monitoring of vital signs, such as heart rate and temperature.
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