Digital Health Trackers

What are digital health trackers?
Digital health trackers, also known as “wearable health trackers” are all the rage it seems. What started out as a curious plastic bracelet on that super-techy guy’s wrist has become very common, even among us majority adopters. Well-known fitness bands include Nike FuelBand, FitBit and Jawbone, with many more popping up each day.

Digital health trackers monitor your physical activity and measure things like the number of steps you take each day, the amount of time you spend being physically active, and even your sleep patterns. Most devices also have calorie and nutrition monitoring capabilities.

Who is using them?
Digital health trackers fall into the larger category of “wearable technology,” which includes products like Google Glass and smart watches. According to Nielsen, around 15% of people who have heard of wearable technology are using a wearable technology product or device. The majority of those people (61%) are using fitness tracking bands.  Young adults are leading the way — about half of wearable tech users are between the ages of 18-34.

Is there a place for digital health trackers in your business?
Maybe, maybe not. Consider the opportunity based on your audience segments and your overall marketing strategy. Here are a few scenarios where utilizing digital health trackers or fitness bands may make sense:

  • Physicians, Nutritionists, Health Coaches
    This is really a no-brainer. Your patients are looking for help in managing their health, and perhaps this is one more solution to help them track their fitness levels and dietary habits. Read more about one doctor’s take on fitness trackers and how to incorporate them into patient management.
  • Health Insurance
    As insurance providers continue to refine their marketing strategies in the age of consumerism, staying on top of technology is imperative. Many health insurance companies are already offering reduced premiums to their commercial members based upon completion of annual screenings like cholesterol and blood pressure. On the car insurance end, Progressive has leveraged technology with their Snapshot device to measure and reward good drivers.

As insurance companies struggle to keep up with making big data meaningful and the shift to the individual marketplace continues, look for wearable health to be part of the solution.

  • Lifestyle and Apparel
    Some apparel and accessory brands are already working on ways to embed fitness tracking into items like jewelry and t-shirts. In terms of marketing a lifestyle brand, fashion labels like Tori Burch have found ways to expand their line of business and capitalize on the proactive health consumer.

Our conversation around digital health trackers and wearable health is sure to continue. Now is the time to begin examining how this technology may or may not fit into your overall business and care delivery objectives.