Consumers to improve wellness through wearables

A latest report by  Ericsson ConsumerLab, entitled Living longer: wellness and the internet examines how satisfied consumers are with their overall wellness, and how it relates to their use of the internet for health and fitness purposes. The report draws together data from several recent consumer surveys covering up to 49 countries.

Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: “Those already satisfied with their wellness say they are the first to try new health approaches. Rather than typical tech adopters or those with health issues, we therefore see people who are satisfied with their wellness being early adopters of wellness technology. This group has very specific requirements related to cloud, privacy, design and functionality that they want to be fulfilled simultaneously. Fulfilling one or two of these simply won’t be enough.”

As 71 percent of consumers are equally as interested
in quantifying themselves as they are in wearables, quantification of behavior today starts with wearables. But people see a range of cloud-based services giving them the potential to live healthier and longer lives – whether the technology can be worn or not.

The report also shows that hopes for increased life expectancy even go beyond personal devices and services, making individual wellness a societal concern.

Björn says: “Consumers in cities facing bigger environmental challenges show higher interest in society-related health concepts, such as a bracelet that checks for smog, or a wearable that helps with eco-friendly commuting, and could potentially drive a faster pace of change. Interest in wellness on a personal level may therefore inspire transformation on a societal level.”

Three out of the seven society-related health concepts analyzed were seen by respondents to be driven by medical service providers, while two
of the concepts were seen as the responsibility of city authorities. However, respondents say technology companies and environmental protection organizations should provide the remaining two concepts.

Björn adds: “Given that the main service providers are expected
to differ widely, the ecosystem to join this will be complex. People think medical information is highly sensitive, and those likely to adopt wellness services early on value the integrity of that information more than others.”

Ericsson ConsumerLab is a global consumer research unit that studies consumer use of, and attitudes to, ICT in more than 40 countries annually. As Ericsson’s voice of the consumer externally and internally, Ericsson ConsumerLab helps customers as well as industry organizations and policy makers understand the implications of consumer needs.