It is well known that the adoption of new digital health apps and wearables is accelerating a more patient driven healthcare ecosystem. Last year, 46% percent of U.S. consumers were considered active digital health adopters, while 24% owned a wearable according to a national survey conducted by Rock Health. With consumers generating and sharing this new data, they become indispensable contributors to the value of new healthcare products. Pharma companies, Payers, and Employers are exploring the use of these technologies in care and wellness programs, however the characteristics of persons who use these devices are poorly understood.
This study offers new insights on the use of wearable devices and smartphones across sociodemographic groups. During the two-year study period, fewer than 2,000 elderly persons (over age 65) activated a device, even though they represented the largest subset of the study population (37.4%). However, once the elderly persons activated a device, 90% had sustained use six months later-- higher than the overall rate, which was already high at 80%. The study also found that low income populations had a lower activation rate-- and programs should consider ways to enable those who may be less able to afford these devices.
“Though overall activation rates were lower in the elderly population, there is a silver lining,” said Luca Foschini, Ph.D., Chief Data Scientist of Evidation Health and the co-author on the study. “The fact that sustained use was as high as 90% in age 65+ populations is a promising sign for developing targeted digital health solutions for this group. With notably high levels of engagement, further research is warranted to understand how to increase their activation rates.”
This study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Humana and the University of Pennsylvania. The results of the study are published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Authors of the study include: Luca Foschini PhD at Evidation Health; Mitesh S. Patel MD, MBA, MS, Gregory W. Kurtzman BA, Jingsan Zhu MBA, MS, Wenli Wang MS, Charles A.L. Rareshide MS at University of Pennsylvania; and Susan M. Zbikowski PhD at Humana.
About Evidation Health
Evidation Health helps healthcare companies quantify outcomes in the digital era, with real life data from connected patients. The company developed its Real Life Study Solution to accelerate and enhance outcomes research through large-scale virtualized pragmatic trials-- collecting novel digital signals and measuring the impact of digital health and traditional interventions far more efficiently than conventional approaches. Evidation Health works across the healthcare ecosystem with top pharmaceutical companies, payers, providers, and digital healthcare companies. Evidation Health is a privately held company headquartered in San Mateo, CA. For more information, visit www.evidation.com.