According to a recent YouGov survey, approximately three million UK adults are planning to buy their first wearable tech device within the next six months, as the likes of FitBits and the Apple Watch have seen more people keeping an eye on their personal health. But what will this rise in wearable pharma technology mean for the industry?
The survey looked at a sample of 3,038 British adults and it is expected wearables will soon become as second-nature to us as the smartphone. In a culture always looking to get things done faster, easier, and in a more seamless manner these new technologies have the potential to make a huge impact to the world, with experts claiming that the sale of wearables will continue to increase rapidly over the next three to five years.
According to PharmaVoice.com, the movement could have “incredible potential for all stakeholders in healthcare, including patients, physicians, and payers” while providing “an opportunity for life-sciences companies to participate in providing tools that benefit everyone”.
In fact, in the future wearable pharma technology will not only collect data but will automatically use the data collected in a valuable way, such as to feed back to healthcare professionals, market research agencies or drug developers in real time. With 500 million people expected to be using mobile health applications by the end of 2015 Pharma companies could soon witness a wealth of data coming their way which could completely change the focus of the industry. This is according to Intouch Solutions, who stated “pharmaceutical companies have a golden opportunity to participate with their wealth of expertise and understanding and their ability to reach and serve various segments of the health space”.
However, these wearable pharma technology still has a way to go to match the growth rate of tablets, which were predicted to overtake the sale of PCs this year. This is primarily due to the limited functions available on wearable tech compared to the operations available on tablets, something both Pharma and technology companies need to be aware of as they work together over the coming months and years to fully utilise these new digital wearables.
Russell Feldman, Director of Digital, Media and Telecoms at YouGov, told marketingmagazine.co.uk - “Most of wearables currently being sold are fitness devices not smartwatches. This immediately means that the device is somewhat niche – one aimed at fitness fanatics or would-be exercise. Tablets, on the other hand, were much more of a universal product aimed at everyone. It is increasingly apparent that the wearables industry needs to use marketing and create user cases to help increase penetration.”