According to a recent survey by market research company Ipsos, China is leading the way when it comes to connected health technology adoption.
The survey, which was shared with reporters at the Connected Healthcare Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, was carried out in order to acquire more data beyond the United States on those using connected health devices. It found that, of the 18,180 respondents in 23 countries, 28 percent of Chinese people claimed to use a connected healthcare device. Close behind was India with 26 percent and the United States with 21 percent. Turkey and Indonesia were the two other countries to complete the top five.
At the other end of the spectrum, the countries with the lowest adoption rates include Poland, with just 3 percent of its inhabitants using a connected health device, Peru with 4 percent, Russia and Brazil with 6 percent, and, surprisingly, Japan and France at just 7 percent.
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Low adoption but for different reasons
Ipsos also discovered that worldwide 12 percent of people said they currently possess and use a connected health device, while 12 percent said they had used one previously. It’s important to also note that the term ‘connected health device’ incorporates fitness trackers as well as healthcare-specific wearables and ingestibles.
Interestingly, these figures only indicate an increase in adoption in Japan when compared with data from Ipsos’ survey last year, although not all of the countries are accounted for in both surveys. The reasons for this flatline in uptake, however, are different. In China, India and the US – countries leading the way in adoption – for example, respondents said they were interested in monitoring health during exercise, as opposed to those in Turkey who were interested in accessing their own health data.
Doctors and insurers could increase connected health device adoption
On the other hand, in countries where adoption is low the barriers were cost and a lack of knowledge and understanding about what connected healthcare devices can do to improve their lives.
“Cost is there as a barrier, often is, but I think the most important thing in this slide is ‘I don’t know enough about them’,” Renna Sangar, head of digital and connected health at Ipsos, told the conference audience, according to mobihealth news. “I wouldn’t take that as awareness. What it means is ‘I don’t know enough about what it would do for me’. And that’s the piece that’s missing.”
Significantly, 85 percent of respondents globally said they would use a device if their doctor recommended it and 68 percent would use a device if their insurance company recommended it.
“The role of the health care professional and health insurers will need to be better defined as we plan the new human-centered design of healthcare,” Sangar said. “Because without them it’s not going to happen. We have to empower the healthcare professional because they are the heart of the health service.”
Patient empowerment and the importance of connected devices in were discussed at length during our recent Internet of Healthcare conference. In this video interview below, Dr Francois Teboul of connected health device provider Visiomed speaks to our editor, Doug Drinkwater, about the importance of IoT in healthcare, and how device adoption can be increased.
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