(The ECONOMIST) – Health- and life-insurance companies seem to think wearable devices can actually make users healthier. They are increasingly underwriting the cost of a range of wearables, including devices from Fitbit, Garmin and Polar.
Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, two big American health insurers, recently created a plan that subsidised the cost of Apple’s pricey watch. Customers of other insurers willing to upload their movement data can obtain a discount on health or life insurance. The more active they are, the greater the financial reward.
Yang Zheng, the boss of Ping An Health Insurance in Shanghai, says that 1.5m customers are already uploading activity data every day. But are these efforts any more than a gimmick? Wearables have long been a bit of a joke, with some complaining that their “time to drawer”—the time it takes for people to lose interest and abandon them—can be measured in months.
(PeerBits) – An average wearable and fitness tracker app , that you can see on everybody’s wrist from a $20 Mi Fit to $300 Fitbit, can track activity levels, sleep and can even count the calories you eat. Newer models can even track blood pressure, oxygen saturation in the blood and stress levels.
- The industry is rising at pace nobody expected with Credit Suisse estimating the industry to be worth between $3 – $5 billion, and over 50,000 apps available for download.
The future is brighter than the brightest for intelligent wearable devices. Sooner than later, they will perform tasks that will make life patient with chronic conditions easier, let clinicians to remotely monitor these patients in real time.
FDA approval and HIPAA privacy are significant concerns for patients, and while these establishments are aware of the rising trend of smart wearable devices, whether developers meet these demands or not, remains to be seen.