Wearable Health is Our Future

The recent news on our health as a nation forms a great contradiction. The figures show that there is some concern regarding obesity and weight gain, especially with an ageing population and one that it is also growing with an influx in immigration. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Data in 2011-12 indicated that 62.8% of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese (comprised of 35.3% overweight and 27.5% obese).

With indisputable data like this, it sounds as though most us are set to encounter bad health!

However, in relation to technology, the data indicates that we are trying to make a difference and make incremental improvements to our health. Out of the 500 Australians studied, 55% (2016 PWC survey) said they had a smart wearable device. To add to our desire to move or to become a healthier nation a recent Wall Street Journal article claimed that Apple watch sales outperformed the sales of the very first iPhone in debut comparison figures. That’s quite impressive.

An interesting finding from the survey was that 36% of the Australians who did wear a smart wearable device reported that they had more than one device. Smart clothes, smart eye wear, apps and smart watches have been flooding the market for quite some time and it is important to note that we are utilising technology where ever possible to make our lives easier. It seems we have lost our fear in sharing personal data with the companies that develop these products, all to become more knowledgeable about our health and make our lives easier.

So, are we actually using our smart wearable device technology or is it just for social interaction?

Well the study supported the most important question – why are we wearing smart wearable devices? The study shows that we wear a smart wearable device mainly for health, however, 33% claimed that it was also worn for social interaction and acceptance, which is a little concerning. Is there a glimpse that we are a nation of trend followers? I am not sure whether we have enough data to create a debate on this topic just yet.

While we are trying our best to become the healthiest nation on the earth, the survey data indicated that our daily use of the smart device was in decline with 22% of users saying they weren’t committed versus 18% of the same number of people surveyed earlier in 2014. Do we need more than a smart watch or smart wearable device to keep us motivated?

In my own experience, yes. I have come to realise that self-motivation only lasts so long. And my conclusion to this question, is we still need more development in the area of smart wearable devices. What is true today is that we are more likely to stay on track if we have a plan, which places more accountability on the individual.  Smart wearable devices alone haven’t been able to give us the support we need (i.e. a plan) and what was evident in the study was that Millennials need more encouragement to wear their devices. 80% of survey respondents, in particular Millennials, outlined that incentives such as loyalty points or offers may be useful to encourage daily use. Fashion statements, it seems, is not enough.

What is crucial is that the data gives the indication that adults want to live longer when they have children, 62% of the adult parents surveyed wore a wearable device versus 41% of adults without children. Life, all of a sudden has more meaning and it only supports the notion that we only take action when we have something of greater value to consider.

Key Points

  • More than half of Australians are wearing a smart wearable device.
  • The opportunity for an easier life keeps our mind open to smart technology.
  • We are trying to commit to improving our health.
  • Whilst keeping commitment is still an issue, development of the wearable smart devices could change our habits.
  • It’s socially acceptable and we have no fear in sharing personal data and information if it will be of benefit to us.
  • Parents are more likely to wear and use a smart wearable device.