MedGizmo - Rock Health: Wearables - fastest growing digital health market
18.11.2015, 09:26   Rock Health

Rock Health: Wearables - fastest growing digital health market

A very attention-grabbing data is reveled in “Digital Health Consumer Adoption: 2015”, a report by Rock Health, digital health venture capital company. While this documents covers the issues regarding various aspects of digital health, there is some crucial information that shows emerging trends in wearables. Here is a short summary:
Wearables and telemedicine are set to be the fastest growing digital health markets in the near-term, with many also considering tracking health on their phone.

There are a number of digital health companies (established and otherwise) working to redefine the way consumers interact with the healthcare system. These companies are attempting (or have attempted) to establish direct to consumer business models and fall into six overarching categories: online health information (e.g., WebMD), online health reviews (e.g., ZocDoc), mobile health tracking (e.g., MyFitnessPal), wearables (e.g., Fitbit), consumer-driven genetic services (e.g., 23andMe), and telemedicine (e.g., Doctor on Demand).
  • Often-heard digital health memes, including that the only users in these categories are young, educated, rich, and healthy turn out to be false. Instead, our study found that an individual’s attitude towards healthcare (responsibility, self-management, and willingness to pay out-of-pocket) was a major indicator of adoption.
  • … the unhealthy are adopting faster than the healthy.
  • … digital health adoption closely mirrors general technology adoption
Searching online for health information is the most well-adopted digital health category, with 40% of those who search acting directly upon the information they find.
While the adoption question focuses on searching for health information online, when asked to force rank the trustworthiness of health information sources, consumers ranked health websites, mobile health apps, and social media/online communities behind physicians and friends/family.
Those who had selected based upon reviews were asked to indicate which of seven characteristics (quality of care, customer comments, location, what insurance they accept, appointment availability, ease of scheduling, and price) had been most helpful in terms of making a decision. The answers indicate consumers are heavily leaning on the information they have been previously trained to seek in reviews: quality (think of the Amazon star rating) and customer comments (think of Amazon customer reviews). Price was a non-factor (likely due to unavailability of information), while the price proxy test of insurance accepted also did not score highly.

The demographics of wearable owners have begun to shift: recent purchasers are more likely to be unhealthy, including high rates of hospitalization, countering the popular narrative of only healthy individuals purchasing wearables.


Here is the story from MIT Technology Review

Tech Companies Are Not Trusted with Health Data
A survey finds that consumers are not eager to give health information to Google, Apple, or Microsoft, but Facebook fared worst of all.
By Antonio Regalado on November 16, 2015

The American public does not trust technology companies with personal health data, according to a survey from Rock Health, a venture capital firm focused on digital health.
Venture investors have poured record amounts into health apps, electronic medical records, and wearable devices, including $4.3 billion last year. But Silicon Valley’s touch with consumers hasn’t yet translated into many big successes.
Rock Health—which has invested in 13 startups this year, including the telemedicine company Doctor on Demand and Chrono Therapeutics, which makes a programmable nicotine replacement patch—decided to launch a large consumer survey to find out why. “A lot of digital health companies are struggling to sell to consumers, and we so we wanted to understand better what the state of adoption looked like,” says Teresa Wang, strategy manager with the investment company.
The survey, of 4,017 people, found that only 8 percent said they would share health data like medical records and lab results with “a technology company.” There was a huge gap between that figure and the number who said they would hand their health history over to a research institution (36 percent) or to their own doctor (86 percent). When asked whom they would share their DNA data with, the responses were similar.
Facebook, Microsoft, and Samsung—all fared poorly, with approximately 5 percent of people saying they’d share with these companies. The outlier was Facebook, which people were about half as likely to give their data to. Only 2 percent said they’d share health or DNA data with the social network.
18.11.2015, 09:26   Rock Health
Image by Rock Health
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