- U.S. consumers doubled their use of wearable healthcare devices, including smartwatches, wearable monitors and fitness trackers, between 2020 and 2021, according to a new survey from AnalyticsIQ.
- Among wearable monitors, blood pressure devices were the most popular, used by 59% of survey respondents, followed by sleep monitors (21%) and ECG monitors (11%). Biosensors such as glucose monitors, hormone monitors, fall detectors and respiratory monitors were used by 8% of consumers in the survey, followed by use of smart clothing items at 6%.
- The wearable biosensors niche alone grew from $150 million globally in 2016 to $25 billion in 2021, the data analytics firm said.
The use and variety of consumer health technology devices has increased dramatically over the past two decades. Scientists at AnalyticsIQ developed a survey to find out how people are incorporating health tech into their lives, asking about 8,000 Americans across the country in spring 2022 to describe how they use various devices.
Just under half of respondents (46%) reported using at least one type of consumer health technology over the past six months.
In a finding that surprised the researchers, the survey showed men used consumer health technology more frequently than women. Black and Latino groups had the highest usage of all ethnicities surveyed, and Gen X consumers reported significantly greater adoption than other age groups.
The findings run somewhat counter to previous research indicating that consumer health tech usage was highest among White individuals, and that women accessed the technologies more frequently than men, AnalyticsIQ said. The data suggest a shifting marketplace, according to the researchers, given the dramatic growth in the market over the last three years and emergence of new types of consumer health technologies.
Smartwatches dominated the landscape, with 35% of survey respondents using them. Fitbit (42%) and Apple Watch (38%) were the most popular smartwatch brands, followed by Samsung Galaxy Watch and Garmin Vivoactive.
Fewer than 10% of those surveyed reported using wearable health monitors or smart workout equipment such as stationary bikes.
Regular device use was greatest overall for smartwatches, followed by wearable health monitors and smart workout devices. The majority of smartwatch users reported daily usage, whereas wearable health monitors and smart workout devices were typically utilized on a weekly basis.
Almost 20% of health tech users reported purchasing at-home testing kits such as COVID-19 or DNA tests. At-home testing kits were accessed least often, with most respondents using them on an "as needed" basis.