BMC: Willingness to adopt wearable devices with behavioural and economic incentives by health insurance wellness programs
Article Synopsis :
Wearable tech has been hailed by some as the route to accessing the kind of data that is going to drive big data and advanced analytics in insurance and in particular, healthcare.
The survey from BMC Public Health looks at the willingness among American consumers to adopt tech that will encourage them to adjust their behaviour.
A willingness to adopt
The primary concern was over finding the answer to the usual consumer concerns ie “what’s in it for me?”
Under certain conditions, almost all (99.22%) were concerned about economic benefits, data-privacy and/or technical conditions. In other words, it was more important that it was ‘free’ and that data wasn’t shared with third parties, than having a a 100% accurate service.
But money speaks louder than benefits
Overall, they would adopt with and/or without the use-cases promoting better health and early disease detection (79.84% and 81.24% respectively vs an average of 69.14%).
Of less interest was the ‘benefits’ of tracking consistency of behaviour (59.98%), personalisation of products and services (58.78%), and automated underwriting (64.70%) against an average of 69.14%.
However, engagement increased when economic incentives were offered. These might be healthcare credits, insurance premium discount, and/or wellness product discounts and resulted in the willingness to adopt wearables in the use-cases of health promotion. Adherence tracking might be improved by 7% with the offer of additional incentives.
More willing than you thought?
It has been suggested by previous studies that health insurance companies could motivate their target customers by adjusting their product strategies. Some even considered whether consumers share the data from a wearable device with their health or life insurance company in exchange for financial rewards if they followed healthy behaviours
Specific groups such as runner, the elderly and health professionals have been considered on a risk/benefit basis.
This report finds that not only accuracy, but the financial cost of a wearable device are among the top barriers reducing the willingness to adopt. It also discovered that fewer consumers than previously believed are not interested in using wearable technology.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsWe have been told that wearable tech will unlock healthcare and deliver analytics nirvana.
While there has been some success among some carriers and across different regions, this paper shows that the idea does indeed have legs.
Of course, the proposition has to be right that goes alongside it, but it would appear that consumers, even in mature markets like the United States, are open to wearing tech if they appreciate something that the tech can offer them.
Especially if it rewards them financially, or provides them with an expensive piece of kit they might otherwise not purchase.
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