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National Wearables Survey Shows Convergence of Wearables and Health Devices

By Ken Briodagh November 29, 2018

A new national survey on wearables has reportedly revealed that actionable, accurate health and medical insights from wearables will be increasingly important to the success of the industry. About 63 percent of respondents have owned a wearable device at some point, up from 42 percent in 2016.

The online survey polled 826 consumers from a wide range of U.S. consumers on their experiences and preferences around wearables. The 2018 survey is a follow-up from the same survey conducted by Valencell in 2016.

Among those surveyed, 65 percent of wearables buyers purchased the devices to monitor general health, track heart rate, to manage a current health condition or prevent future health issues. In addition, 67 percent of wearable owners believe that their device has increased awareness and positively impacted their health and activity.

“Consumers are demanding more from their wearables and hearables than ever. These survey results are indicative of the convergence Valencell has seen happening between the consumer wearables and health and medical device sectors,” said Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, President and Co-Founder, Valencell. “It is clear people want wearables that help them improve their health or medical condition, not just improve their fitness or performance.”

Heart rate tracking and step counting were considered the most useful wearable functionality, but there is a clear desire for further health and medical monitoring. When wearable owners were asked what condition they would like monitor in addition to what they are doing now:

  • 55 percent would like to monitor blood pressure, up from 46 percent in 2016
  • 50 percent would like to monitor stress, down from 55 percent in 2016
  • 49 percent would like to monitor heart health
  • 33 percent would like to monitor blood sugar levels

76 percent of survey respondents say they trust the accuracy of the data their wearable provides. Among survey respondents who have never owned a wearable device, 55 percent said they would consider using one if they trusted the accuracy of the device.

Over 60 percent of respondents own or have owned a wearable device. Smartwatches increased in popularity, 53 percent ownership in 2018 compared to 32 percent in 2016, while wristbands declined, dropping from 52 percent ownership in 2016 to 45 percent ownership in 2018.  Of those who have not owned a wearable device, 60 percent indicated that if they were to buy a new wearable, they would select a smartwatch. Accuracy, battery life and comfort topped list of desired features for those who have never owned a wearable device.

The 2018 “The State of Wearables Today” Survey was conducted by Valencell. The online survey polled 826 U.S consumers, ages 18-65, on their knowledge and preferences around wearable technology devices.


The IoT Evolution Expo, and collocated events, IoT Evolution Health, LPWAN Expo, The Smart City Event, and IIoT Conference, will take place Jan. 29 to Feb 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit IoTEvolutionExpo.com to register now.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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