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Wearable Device Security: Are You Scared?
Wearable Tech World Feature Article
August 04, 2015
Wearable Device Security: Are You Scared?
By Stefania Viscusi
Assignment Desk Editor

Technological advancements have continued to create a world where quite anything is possible. Some of the latest technologies in the consumer space include smart devices that do everything from measure our fitness and health, to understanding when to water the lawns or how to heat our homes. These capabilities are helping us to be smarter, save money, and improve our vitality.

But it’s not all fun and games. For consumers who use connected health devices and fitness apps, there is some apprehension due to security concerns. Even though these offerings have potential to improve our personal health, not everyone is buying in to using them just yet. According to a new study, U.S. broadband households are actually riddled with privacy and security concerns around using health devices. They are worried mainly that the information being recorded and stored will put them at risk during high profile data breaches that continue to plague the headlines.

The  new Parks Associates (News - Alert)  research, "Digitally Fit: Products and Services for Connected Consumers," noted 23 percent of households feared privacy and security in connected health devices and fitness apps over other smart connected objects like door locks and tablets.

While no one is safe from the types of attacks we continue to see almost weekly, there are some solutions already being drawn up that suggest controlling the collection and use of data from consumers would help. Until that is addressed however, connected health devices will suffer.

"The connected health industries, device manufacturers, and app developers not only need to ensure they have strong security measures in place but also that consumers are aware of the steps they are taking to protect their data," said Harry Wang, Director, Health and Mobile Product, Parks Associates. "Already 35 percent of consumers worry their personal health information will not remain confidential if online, and with high-profile data hacks making big headlines, consumers are expecting companies to take strong security measures to protect them."

In addition to ensuring security of the information being collected from possible hackers, and in order to succeed in the market, these app and device makers need to be able to leverage the data to improve the offerings themselves. Since there are currently no incentives tied to consumers sharing their data, they are left anxious and unmotivated to adopt the offerings.

Image via Shutterstock

"Concerns about data security have the potential to be a significant inhibitor to adoption, and the industry needs to inform and empower consumers on the security and usage of their data to drive long-term adoption and usage,” Wang said.

A closer look at how innovation and security can still work together to make wearable devices a success will be the topic of discussion at the upcoming Wearable Tech Conference and Expo happening Aug. 18-20 in Las Vegas. During a session titled: “Future of Healthcare Wearables,” presenter Jay Sales, Innovation Strategist at VSP Global will speak with the audience about what designers, purchasers and users of connected health wearable need to understand in order for success to occur in the market.

Stay in touch with everything happening at the event -- follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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