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IIT Mandi Study: Online Reviews Help Drive Adoption of Wearable Health Monitors

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi have analyzed the various factors influencing the use of wearable technologies for personal healthcare. They used mathematical models to analyze data collected from surveys to understand the marketing effectiveness of online reviews. The research findings have been published in the Journal of Marketing Communications. The research is led by Dr Saumya Dixitassistant professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Mandi, and co-authored by her PhD student Ms Anjali Pathania IIT Mandi and dr Gowar RasoolSchool of Business Studies, Central University of Jammu, Jammu.
The team’s recent study aims to understand the drivers behind the use of wearable technologies for personal healthcare. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of such devices has increased. Some examples of such devices include fitness trackers, smartwatches, wearable sensors and wearable medical devices, including the oximeter that was widely used during the pandemic to monitor blood oxygen levels. Wearable devices can be connected to a smartphone or other sources to display health-related data and provide features such as alerts, reminders and personalized recommendations.
Traditionally, recommendations and reviews by other users have been the main drivers behind the adoption of any product, including wearable devices. Where in the past these reviews were word of mouth, with the advancement of Web 2.0 technologies, consumers can easily and freely share their experiences of services and products widely and in real time through various means such as social media and online review websites. In modern times, online reviews are the electronic version of word of mouth, or eWOM, that can influence the “herd behavior” or group behavior of individuals when using wearable technology for personal health care.
IIT Mandi researchers sought to understand the role of online reviews in encouraging other people to buy and use wearable personal healthcare technology. They surveyed 434 wearable technology users and analyzed the data using the method of Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) with Smart PLS.
Dr. Saumya Dixit, IIT Mandi, explains the technical aspects of the study: “We proposed an integrated model based on herd behavior, theory of homophily (peer influence) and tenets of uncertainty borrowed from initial trust theory to explore the effects of online reviews on the adoption of wearable technology in healthcare.”
The analysis showed that reading the reviews written by users with similar backgrounds and needs, combined with usage information regarding ease of use, usability of personal healthcare wearable technology and the company’s reputation, can influence whether or not decisions of potential users to allow adoption. of the portable medical device.
While talking about the other recommendations based on the results of their analysis, Ms. Anjali Pathania, Ph.D. scholar, IIT Mandi, said: “Managers of online review communities should encourage consumers to provide gay details as they write reviews, along with semi-guided information about the company’s ease of use, usability and reputation. Further, homosexual information filters should be offered along with rating management systems/algorithms on online platforms to reduce information overload and improve adoption of wearable personal healthcare devices by potential users.”

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