A survey conducted by software research company Software Advice has revealed that the majority of healthcare consumers improved their health and quality of life. The study consisted of 450 patients who regularly utilize medically prescribed wearable equipment. According to the survey, approximately 50% of respondents cited gaining a broader insight into their health as the greatest advantage to using a wearable device. While 15% of survey participants claim that the capacity to receive treatment remotely as the most significant benefit to wearable devices. Approximately 27% cited an improvement in quality of life and 5% reported the technology enabling improved communication with treatment providers.
“Wearable devices are a modern marvel that give actionable health insights to patients and doctors,” explained Lisa Hedges, an associate principal medical analyst for Software Advice. “Patients cited invaluable awareness of their specific health issues, thus creating incentive to make conscious lifestyle changes and increase proactivity on medication management.”
However, the respondents did report a number of disadvantages to wearable devices. A little over 39% noted concerns about the security of their devices and 31% claimed that fewer office visits brought on by the technology had a negative influence on their relationships with their physicians. In addition, the survey revealed several usability-related problems. The majority of patients who use wearable devices and need manual data entry claimed that they had reported incorrect data at least once. When asked what caused the incorrect data, 54% indicated that the data input instructions were confusing, 31% claimed that the device interface was difficult to use, and 15% claimed that the device itself was malfunctioning. The majority of patients who were asked what resources would be useful when given a new device stated having access to a help desk or a support staff would be beneficial. 26% of respondents said a library of information to assist them in independently troubleshooting and resolving device issues would be helpful, while 54% said an in-person tutorial on how to function their device may be helpful.
Furthermore, patients reported that commercial wearables like Apple Watches, Fitbits, and Oura Smart Rings were simpler to use than medically prescribed wearables. Only 9% of patients who reported the same issue about their medically prescribed device claimed it was easier to use, compared to almost half (43%) of patients who used a commercial device.