American consumers are confident that technology can be used to foster more direct relationships with healthcare providers while offering them a better picture of their own health. However, many are waiting to fully embrace technological advancements until they have greater assurances that their personal information will remain private.
Kantar, in partnership with the Digital Health Summit, surveyed more than 1,000 American adults between Nov. 7 and Nov. 22 to get a better sense of where consumers stand when it comes to the integration of technology into all aspects of the healthcare spectrum. The findings make clear that one of the biggest hurdles to greater adoption is not innovation, but trust.
According to the survey, Americans generally have a favorable outlook on the potential benefits of health tech. 53% of Americans agree or strongly agree that technology is driving a more connected relationship with healthcare providers. Another 62% of Americans agree or strongly agree that technology allows them to be more “in-touch” with their personal healthcare.
However, the roadblock to further adoption comes when Americans are asked to consider whether devices and the companies that create them can be trusted with some of their most intimate personal information. According to the survey, only 38% of Americans believe proper safeguards are in place to protect their personal health data. Only a little less, 36%, don't believe proper safeguards are in place and another 26% said they were unsure whether proper safeguards existed. This lack of confidence in data safety has a direct impact on consumers’ willingness to allow tech products into the lives. More than 60% of those we surveyed said privacy-related issues such as data breaches deter them from using telemedicine or wearable fitness trackers.
Breaking Into Voice
Very few Americans are utilizing voice-driven devices such as Google Home products and Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices to engage with health-related matters.
- Only 16% have used voice technology to find answers about an illness or health issue.
- 14% used voice technology to set a reminder to take medication.
- 13% have used voice technology to manage their fitness regimen.
- 11% have used voice technology to call a healthcare provider.
Use of implantable devices is another area where Americans seem to have a high level of skepticism. However, nearly half of Americans would consider using one for themselves. Our study found:
- 47% of Americans would consider using an implantable device to manage conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s, or chronic pain to improve quality of life.
- Only 23% would consider using an implantable device for their spouse or significant other.
- 14% would consider an implantable device for their children.
- 14% would consider a device for a parent or grandparent.
While Americans may not have much confidence in companies and devices safeguarding their information, they have a fair amount of faith in the ability of artificial intelligence to deliver health benefits. It’s certainly something consumer will start to hear more about in 2020. A recent study found than 75% of “healthcare organization are actively implementing or have plans to execute an AI strategy.” Our survey found the following:
- 50% of Americans agree or strongly agree that artificial intelligence could help predict or prevent health epidemics.
- 57% believe artificial intelligence could help identify personal health issues.
- 50% believe artificial intelligence could help develop better drugs or treatment plans.