Study: Fitness trackers, mHealth wearables not compelling to most users

Nearly three quarters of U.S. adults are not using fitness devices or apps for tracking diet, weight or exercise, according to a Technology Advice survey.

The research polled 979 Americans with results indicating 11 percent use a fitness tracker and 14.1 percent are using a mobile app to monitor health. While 60.4 percent have no intention of using either, 14.5 percent say they plan to use the tech tools in the future.

Nearly one third of those not using mHealth fitness apps or devices, 27.2 percent, stated they are not interested in such tools; 17.7 percent noted cost as a prime reason for not using a device or app and 7.9 percent noted tracker device design as an obstacle.

Yet almost half are on board if provided a free doctor-approved fitness tracker, with younger participants indicating a greater willingness, according to the survey.

The news isn't likely to make mHealth wearable makers and component vendors happy, and it seems to contradict recent data that claims 100 million mHealth wearable monitor devices are expected to be shipping by the year 2020.

The device growth is just one reason big tech players, from Apple and Samsung to possibly BlackBerry--which is mulling a move into the mHealth wearable market--are scrambling to develop and build mHealth apps, data sharing platforms and devices.

The survey does dovetail with how medical professionals are viewing such healthcare tools. As FierceMobileHealthcare reported, it'll take much more evidence of real benefit to get doctors and providers on board. Medical care providers are not only worried about accuracy of the data being collected, but are also concerned about data sharing practices, privacy issues, and technology requirements.

To learn more:
- read the study

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