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People unwilling to share data from their wearables

People unwilling to share data from their wearables

People unwilling to share data from their wearables A PwC survey has revealed, despite the popularity of fitness trackers, people are not willing to trust their employers with their health data. The findings dampen the hopes that insurers might have access to the wealth of data wearable technology generates.

A PwC survey of 2,000 workers across the UK found two thirds want their employer to take an active role in their health and wellbeing and felt that technology should be used to help them do this. Despite this, only 46 per cent said they would accept a free piece of wearable technology if their employers had access to the data recorded. Even if a workplace offered benefits for having access to the data, the proportion of people who would be happy to use a wearable only increases to 55 per cent.

UK insurance leader at PwC Jonathan Howe said this has significant implications for the health insurance industry as insurers increasingly consider working with employers to meet wellbeing agendas.

“Employers want to address the war for talent in the workplace and insurers are looking for ways to stand out to new and existing customers among ongoing, intense competition,” said Howe.

The biggest barrier for people is trust. Four out of 10 people said they don’t trust their employer to use the information for their benefit. Thirty-seven per cent of people said they don’t trust their employer to not use the data against them in some way.  

However, people are more than happy to use fitness trackers and activity monitors privately, with approximately three million people in the UK purchasing one last year. While many have seen the potential of the data generated from these devices, people are still very hesitant to share their statistics.

“There is an increased focus on the use of wearable technology in the insurance sector, specifically amongst new entrants to the market,” said Howe. “If insurers, start-ups and employers can find a way to work together to ease the trust issues felt by employees, they could make big strides in playing a more active and productive role in people’s lives.”

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