Some 80 percent of people were more motivated to manage their health after using an activity tracker, according to a randomized control trial from March 2014 of 600 patients who are pre-diabetic and morbidly obese.
The study, which lasted six months, was conducted by Cigna. The activity trackers used were made by BodyMedia, which was acquired by Jawbone. The devices have since been discontinued -- Jawbone no longer offers them.
The 600 participants in the pilot were split into two groups of 300 participants. One group received BodyMedia activity trackers as well as health coaching advice and the other group just received the coaching. Based on data Cigna shared with MobiHealthNews, the study found that 86 percent of people who received coaching and tracked their health with the device were motivated to be active.
The pilot also found that 80 percent of participants said they were more willing to manage their health at the end of the study than they were at the beginning. Additionally, 60 percent of participants who were using an activity tracking device continued to receive coaching after two coaching calls.
The group that had the BodyMedia devices wore them, on average, for 18 hours per day. On average this group also walked 3 miles per day, burned 2,500 calories per day, and performed moderate activity for 49 minutes per day. These participants were involved in the pilot for between 18 to 20 weeks on average.
Cigna also released data from a three-year study that analyzed data from more than 200,000 members.
The study found that, as a result of offering incentive programs, biometric screening rates increased from 20 percent to 55 percent in 2014. The results also showed that incentives increased member engagement in coaching programs by 24 percent and 30 percent for populations with chronic conditions. The incentive program also increased the probably of setting and meeting goals with a health coach, by 18 percent and 43 percent for people with chronic conditions.