Three untapped opportunities wearables present to health insurers, providers, and employers
- After a shaky start, wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers have gained traction in healthcare, with US consumer use jumping from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018.
- More than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data - and penetration should continue to climb.
- The maturation of the wearable market will put more wearables in the hands of consumers and US businesses.
The US healthcare industry as it exists today is not sustainable. An aging patient population and rising burden of chronic disease have caused healthcare costs to skyrocket and left providers struggling to keep up with demand for care.
Meanwhile, digital technologies in nearly every consumer experience outside of healthcare have raised patients' expectations for good service to be higher than ever.
One of the key mechanisms through which healthcare providers can finally evolve their outdated practices and exceed these expectations is wearable technology.
Presently, 33% of US consumers have adopted wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, to play a more active role in managing their health. In turn, insurers, providers, and employers are poised to become just as active leveraging these devices - and the data they capture - to abandon the traditional reimbursement model and improve patient outcomes with personalized, value-based care.
Adoption is going to keep climbing, as more than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data, according to Accenture - though they have reservations about who exactly should access it.
A new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, follows the growing adoption of wearables and breadth of functions they offer to outline how healthcare organizations and stakeholders can overcome this challenge and add greater value with wearable technology.
For insurers, providers, and employers, wearables present three distinct opportunities:
- Insurers can use wearable data to enhance risk assessments and drive customer lifetime value. One study shows that wearables can incentivize healthier behavior associated with a 30% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events and death.
- Providers can use the remote patient monitoring capabilities of wearable technology to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of staff shortages, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. And since 90% of patients no longer feel obligated to stay with providers that don't deliver a satisfactory digital experience, wearables could help to attract and retain them.
- Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity. For example, The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority yielded $5 million in healthcare cost savings through a wearable-based employee wellness program.
The Wearables in US Healthcare Report details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the US healthcare sector. It explores the key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, healthcare providers, and employers, and the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders.
By outlining a successful case study from each stakeholder, the report highlights best practices in implementing wearables to reduce healthcare claims, improve patient outcomes, and drive insurance cost savings, as well as how the evolution of the market will create new, untapped opportunities for businesses.