Just under a quarter of U.S. adults own a smartwatch, a percentage that has been steadily rising since CivicScience first started tracking it in 2016. What started off as a fad counting steps has blossomed into a new age of health and fitness tracking technology.
Upcoming releases from FitBit and Amazon introduce a host of remarkable smartwatch features to a market eager to compile more personal stats and stay in control of their health.
CivicScience surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults to understand which health and fitness tracking features they looked for in a watch or wearable. The below chart shows the percentage of U.S. adults who report a particular feature being important to them.
While counting steps is still the most popular capability, ECGs and calorie management follow close behind.
Heart health is a very obvious priority for consumers right now, which explains why the new FitBit Sense and the Halo Band from Amazon both incorporate (and emphasize in their marketing) ECG heart monitoring. While eating Cheerios to help lower cholesterol is certainly one way to manage an aspect of your cardiovascular health, the ability to actually check your heart with each bowl of cereal is far more advanced.
Because age often determines the focus of someone’s health, it’s no surprise that the ECG feature was most appealing to those 55 and older.
The youngest age group (18-24) placed a greater value on calorie counting and managing meals over heart monitoring. Those under 25 are more likely working on preventing heart issues rather than managing them.
As noted above, general intent to purchase some kind of smartwatch is currently at 9% among U.S. adults. Filtered by age, that number drops to 6% among those 55 or older but jumps to between 11-13% for all other age groups.
So while an ECG is an incredible feature for these new wearables, those with a greater likelihood of buying a smartwatch in the future see other capabilities as more valuable.
Intent to purchase either of the soon-to-be-released models (the FitBit Sense or Halo Band) rests at a low 5%. What’s promising for FitBit is that, among respondents who said an ECG was an important smartwatch feature to them, 7% were likely to purchase the FitBit Sense while 4% were likely to purchase a rival from Amazon.