UK Consumers Cautious Over Healthcare Wearables

September 16, 2015

September 17, 2015.

New research reveals that a majority of UK consumers would share data from wearable devices like fitness bands with their GP to help them monitor their health.

In a survey by KPMG of 1,000 UK adults, nearly three-quarters (74%) said that they would be happy to wear a device that monitors their health and reports it back to their GP, and 48% said that they would allow the NHS to add their medical records to a single national database so that it can be accessed by any medical practitioner in the country.

However, most were cautious about how their health data is processed, with just 1 in 12 (8%) saying they were happy for a private firm to do so. Three out of five (60%) said they would not want their health data, from an internet-connected fridge, smartwatch, or mobile phone, to be shared or stored. 

Caroline Rivett, director in KPMG’s cyber security practice, said: “The survey highlights that although UK consumers are happy to use wearable devices to report their health statuses back to their GP, they are less than comfortable for the data to be shared and stored with other entities, including healthcare providers."

She added: "People do not want to feel like they are being ‘tracked’ for marketing purposes. Companies need to think long and hard about how they talk to their customers and potential customers, or there is a real risk they will become alienated rather than driving new business.”