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Digital experience a make-or-break for wearable tech in Canada

One poor digital experience could be the make-or-break moment in a technology failing to reach its full potential.

Body-monitoring tech trend comes with concerns
The Circular personal health smart ring is displayed during CES Unveiled ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada - Copyright AFP Patrick T. FALLON
The Circular personal health smart ring is displayed during CES Unveiled ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada - Copyright AFP Patrick T. FALLON

There has been substantial growth in the consumer medical devices market in recent years. For example, 320 million consumer medical wearables are set to ship globally in 2022 (according to Deloitte).

These devices range from heart rate monitors that can be used to detect heart disease and long COVID-19, to bracelets which aid ovulation prediction and conception.

There is a general sense, given the popularity of fitness devices, that consumers are incorporating this form of technology in their daily lives to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

In a new study of more than 12,000 consumers globally, including Canada, Cisco AppDynamics uncovered how quickly consumers are adopting this technology, the level of trust they have when allowing third parties to handle their data, and their expectations for incredible digital experiences when using these services.

The results suggest that consumers keen to realize a range of health and wellbeing benefits. Yet, at the same time, consumer expectations for flawless digital experiences are higher than ever.

This means, one poor digital experience could be the make-or-break moment in a technology failing to reach its full potential. The precarious situation means that it is relatively easy for a given company to go under should kts reputation be affected on a bigger scale.

With the Canadian situation, this division of the survey reveals that 82 percent of Canadians think wearable technology has the potential to transform both their personal health and public health as a whole.

This positive sign is reflected in purchasing patterns, with 61 percent of Canadians saying they intend to use more of these types of wearable technologies or applications in the next 12 months. Plus, 33 percent of Canadians are currently using at least one wearable health tech device.

However, in keeping with national findings, the robustness of the technology is important. Here, 73 percent of Canadians say a bad digital experience may stop them using a specific wearable device or application and 51 percent indicate that it may put them off trying other health or wellbeing wearables or applications.

The biggest components of a bad digital experience are:

Data privacy or a data security leak (61 percent of people said they had experienced this).

Application or device crashing (58 percent raised this).

Slow run time or an unresponsive device (mentioned by 57 percent) .

Overall, 86 percent of Canadians said. reliable, real-time access to health data and accuracy of this data is critical to a good user experience. This means technology firms working in this space need to invest heavily in quality by design concepts and with practicing good quality control in the manufacturing process.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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