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Impact of Wearable Technologies in the Health & Fitness Industry

With direct access to technology and gadgets consumers now have the opportunity to take their health and fitness into their own hands. ‘Wearable technology’, a trend which until a few years ago was unheard of, has become a foreseeable sensation in the aftermath of rapid digitization. Individuals now use and trust wearable technology to proactively manage their health and illness, which helps them in tapping into their specific physical and medical needs.

This has led pharma companies, medical practitioners and life insurance providers to come together and invest in the Insurtech model which aims to disrupt the currently traditional insurance model by collaborating with smart device developers and providing more cost-effective, customized policies. The availability of technology-backed real-time personal data also impacts life insurances by rewarding beneficiaries with a healthier lifestyle and reduced premiums. All of these factors combined together make wearable technology the trendsetter that it is around the globe.

As per data pundits in the sector, the number of connected wearable devices worldwide is expected to reach a mark of 578m in 2019 in comparison to the figure of 1069m in 2014. In fact, this technology has some of the largest takers in the UK itself, with 33 percent of Brits currently using a smart device to monitor their health, a sign people are now more aware than ever of the power technology can wield in their lives.


Types of Wearable Devices

Wearable technology typically allows access to personal data and recordings, which are collected on a continuous basis in order to provide timely treatments and care.

A great example of wearable device are the Smart Watches and Fitness Trackers. The Apple Watch, for instance, can be linked to record heart rate, measure rest, and workout sessions and notify as and when it reaches a certain threshold. Along the same lines are FitBit and Garmin which record physical activity and steps taken and calories burned down. Besides the watches, there are glasses, bracelets and even clothing devices that are being used to smoothly incorporate wearable technology in the lives of a burgeoning health-conscious population.


Impact of Wearable Technology

The advent of wearable technology revolutionaries’ in the health and fitness industry has numerous benefits to boast of –

  1. Empowered Individuals

Wearable technology allows individuals to be in charge of their health by making use of the real-time data provided by smart devices. This educates them about their own health without having to run to the physician at every sneeze and cough.

  1. Aid Professionals

With the possibility to share live personal data with doctors, it becomes easier for them as well to detect and diagnose a disease much earlier than ever. It also gives them an in-depth information about the patient’s lifestyle, activity level, heart rates, blood pressure levels, sugar levels and other vital information that might be crucial in understanding the patient’s health better.

  1. Better Medical Procedures

These technologies work on the AI models which allows for safe and secure sharing of personal health data and records. This data can be transferred from labs to hospitals to patients or vice versa. The direct transfer eliminates the risk of tampering with reports to extract undue benefits from the patient.

  1. Health and Insurance

While a shroud of doubt still persists over privacy and security issues that come with sharing one’s health data, wearable tech is more likely to receive a nod than not, as tech-savvy, fitness-conscious millennials say yes to sharing data with a life insurer, reveals a research by MoneySuperMarket.

In this context, a MoneySuperMarket spokesperson comments, “Wearables are beginning to have a significant impact on the life insurance market. They build on the well-established premise that a person’s lifestyle and habits play a big role in determining how much they will pay for cover. The logic is simple: use a device to demonstrate your healthy lifestyle and get lower premiums in return”.  This falls in line with what insurers like Yulife and Vitality have set out to do, by using wearable technology to incentivize preventive health behaviors via rewarding programs and schemes, rather than coast along the traditional insurance model of impacting only beneficiaries after the policy-holder has passed away.

Wearable technology, undoubtedly, is potentially strong to bring about radical changes in the health and fitness industry, and fit into our modern-day, tech-savvy lifestyle.

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