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This research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine provides new insights on the use of activity trackers across sociodemographic groups.

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. 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.

80% of activity tracker users sustained use after 6 months.

Researchers from Evidation Health, Humana and the University of Pennsylvania sought out to uncover new insights on activity tracker usage by evaluating nearly 4.5 million members over two years. This is one of the first such evaluations among a large, diverse sample. Among the findings:

  • 80% of activity tracker users sustained use after 6 months.

Implication: Further research is warranted to understand how gamification and incentives strategies affect device engagement.

  • Though initial activation rates were lower among elderly (65+) persons, 90% of those elderly persons who activated a device sustained use 6 months later–higher than the overall rate (80%).

Implication: This is a positive sign for developing targeted digital health solutions for this group; further research is warranted to understand how to increase their activation rates.

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