The health information collected by wearable fitness trackers may one day carry monetary value, according to a recent study led by University of Illinois at Chicago professor S. Jay Olshansky.
The wearable device market is expected to grow to more than $30 billion by 2020, storing massive amounts of data on individuals' exercise, sleep habits, and other vitals. Olshansky says this data can be translated into measures of health risks and longevity.
Researchers collected step counts from wearable devices and combined the data with age, sex, height, weight, walking speed, and other factors to derive the reduction in risk of death and expected gain in life expectancy. Olshansky says insurance companies, mortgage lenders, public health researchers, and marketers would find significant value in these measures and may pay to have access to device data.
The researchers also combined fitness and health data with personal financial information to develop a score for overall health and financial risks, called the Better Life and Income Scoring System (BLISS) score.
"The BLISS score would travel with people across their life history and have intrinsic value that can be used to lower premiums on health and life insurance, obtain more favorable mortgage interest rates, and which can be monetized," Olshansky says.
From UIC News Center
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