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In BMC public health ; h5-index 82.0

BACKGROUND : The number of health-related wearable devices is growing but it is not clear if Americans are willing to adopt health insurance wellness programs based on wearables and the incentives with which they would be more willing to adopt.

METHODS : In this cross-sectional study we used a survey methodology, usage vignettes and a dichotomous scale to examine U.S. residents' willingness to adopt wearables (WTAW) in six use-cases where it was mandatory to use a wearable device and share the resulting data with a health insurance company. Each use-case was tested also for the influence of additional economic incentives on WTAW.

RESULTS : A total of 997 Americans across 46 states participated in the study. Most of them were 25 to 34 years old (40.22%), 57.27% were female, and 74.52% were white. On average, 69.5% of the respondents were willing to adopt health-insurance use-cases based on wearable devices, though 77.8% of them were concerned about issues related to economic benefits, data privacy and to a lesser extent, technological accuracy. WTAW was 11-18% higher among consumers in use-cases involving health promotion and disease prevention. Furthermore, additional economic incentives combined with wearables increased WTAW overall. Notably, financial incentives involving providing healthcare credits, insurance premium discount, and/or wellness product discounts had particularly greater effectiveness for increasing WTAW in the consumer use-cases involving participation: for health promotion (RR = 1.06 for financial incentive, 95% CI: 1.01-1.11; P = 0.018); for personalized products and services (RR = 1.11 for financial incentive, 95% CI: 1.01-1.21; P = 0.018); and for automated underwriting discount at annual renewal (RR = 1.28 for financial incentive, 95% CI: 1.20-1.37; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS : Under the adequate economic, data privacy and technical conditions, 2 out of 3 Americans would be willing to adopt health insurance wellness programs based on wearable devices, particularly if they have benefits related to health promotion and disease prevention, and particularly with financial incentives.

SoliƱo-Fernandez Diego, Ding Alexander, Bayro-Kaiser Esteban, Ding Eric L


Diffusion of innovation, Health insurance, United States, Wearable electronic devices