News Feature | June 10, 2016

Wearables Don't Change Patient Behavior

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Consumers, Especially Millenials, Embrace Wearable Technology

Wearables are fun, but they don’t lead to changes in behavior according to a group of researchers from the United Kingdom and Australia.

There’s been much debate on the effectiveness of wearables, and now yet another report finds the technology does not significantly change the behavior of those who use it. According to a Journal of Medical Internet Research  report, monitoring devices don’t actually lead to changes in patients’ health habits. 

Fierce Mobile Healthcare reports researchers from universities in the United Kingdom and Australia assessed characteristics and measurement properties of 82 self-monitoring activity devices. Many of these devices racked activity, but few also tracked sedentary behavior. 

“The novelty of these devices means they have yet to be used in behavior change interventions, although the growing field of wearable technology may facilitate this to change,” concluded researchers. 

Despite this, other reports show wearables shipping out at an overwhelming rate. Health IT Outcomes reported earlier this year that adoption of wearable medical and fitness devices will skyrocket over 110 million this year. 

This growth is expected to continue past 2016, with 237.1 million wearable device shipments by 2020. 

Researchers hope that the future holds better results for those using wearables. They said work “between engineers, computer scientists and academics in relevant fields is needed to develop these technologies that provide real-time, personalized, context-aware feedback to aid in the reduction in sitting time and its detrimental effect on cardiometabolic health.”