Parks: Fitness still the leading use case for smartwatches

By Jonah Comstock
02:51 pm

Despite all the convenience features of modern smartwatches, for users it’s still all about fitness, according to recently released data from Parks Associates. 

The research firm says that tracking steps is the most popular smartwatch use case, with 60 percent of the United States’ 13.3 million smartwatch users reporting that they track their steps with their device.

According to Senior Director of Research Harry Wang, this desire for fitness tracking, as well as heart rate monitoring, is driving a healthy interest in smartwatches generally.

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“Purchase intentions for smart watches have nearly doubled since the third quarter of 2015, and the device has a high NPS (net promoter score), which bodes well for future adoption,” Wang said in a statement. “The smart watch industry learned that it has to continue to innovate to sustain consumer purchase interest, and health and fitness functions are high among their investment priorities. In the US, while companies are still experimenting with form factors, features, battery life, and pricing, the healthcare industry has shown a strong interest in leveraging wearables for patient engagement.”

Beyond the realm of fitness, consumers are also using connected health devices, but there’s a lot of room for additional adoption there. The most common connected medical device for consumers is the blood pressure cuff, Parks found, followed by pulse oximeters.

To illustrate adoption of connected health devices, Parks used the example of patients with diabetes. While 78 percent own a glucometer, only 28 percent check it daily. And while 76 percent of people with diabetes own smartphones, only 24 percent use an app to manage their diabetes.


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