The popularity of wearable devices is surging by the day and adding to the immense opportunities that healthcare technology in the modern day has to offer. As per a study conducted by Statista, the amount of connected wearables is expected to reach to a billion devices by the year 2022. The wearable technology is still in the early adoption stage and will take a while before it becomes completely mainstream. It has to overcome a lot of obstacles before it is tagged as ‘definitive’. Let’s have a look at a couple of issues that needs to be taken care of for it to necessitate faster adoption among the mass.
Data Security – The reasons behind a slow adoption rate of healthcare wearables
Amidst other bits and pieces issue of wearables, the primary thing that leads to a slow adoption rate of wearables among the mass is that of security. Wearable healthcare devices acquire huge amounts of personal health information of individuals. This information chunk contains a fair amount of highly personal data which individuals are sensitive towards. It is the treatment and security of this data that individuals are the most worried about.
It is possible for this data to be put to ill-use. Constant amendments of privacy laws mean that various companies illegally sell their user’s data when they go bankrupt. This poses major threat to data security, and hence individuals are right to be apprehensive. The other issue is that of storage and analysation of data, especially prevalent in small sized companies. Small companies are not always well-equipped with generating proper algorithms for storage and analysis and therefore struggle with the response part. Inappropriate filtering of medical data can lead to problems as there are chances that doctors might receive inaccurate and compromised information which can greatly hamper their care procedure.
But by and large, people are most concerned about the security bit. However, it’s true that wearable devices are a disruptive healthcare technology which is highly beneficial and efficient. In general, society has emphasized more on the negative aspects of sharing personal data such as theft, frauds, security breaches, etc. It has to be said that for people to still adopt wearables, the stack of potential benefits has to outweigh the stack of potential risks associated. There is no denying the amount of efficiency healthcare wearables can provide to healthcare providers. Once the security and the treatment of personal information shared by individuals is guaranteed, the rate of adoption will surge even higher.
The Two Areas of Future Possibilities
The two biggest areas of wearable opportunities lie among the younger and the elder generation for very different reasons. The younger generation is more of the electronic age and thus are almost by default attracted towards devices and automation. Besides, their personality from slightly elder people differ in the sense that they are more open and bold. So, despite of the whole data privacy conundrum, they won’t really mind wearing fitness trackers and health watches. No wonder, that all these products are mainly targeted towards them from an advertising perspective.
When it comes to the elders, the opportunity for wearables lie in a different sense. Elder people during their last phase of life generally want to stay at home with the aid of Geriatric healthcare services. This is where the biggest opportunity of healthcare technology and wearable devices lies. Not just wearables, but even when it comes to healthcare as whole, the biggest opportunity lies in devising mechanisms that will help monitor the health of patients who are not staying in hospitals.