Factors and Design Features Influencing the Continued Use of Wearable Devices

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Journal of Healthcare Informatics Research

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The initial healthy uptake of wearable devices is not necessarily accompanied by sustained or continued use. Accordingly, this study investigates the factors influencing the continuous use of wearable devices with a particular emphasis on design features. We complemented the expectation-confirmation model (ECM) theoretical foundation with various design features such as trust, readability, dialogue support, personalization, device battery, appeal, and social support. The study employs a simultaneous mixed method research design denoted as QUANT + qual. The quantitative analysis leverages partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) using survey data collected from wearable device users. The qualitative analysis complements the quantitative focus of the research by providing insights into the results obtained from the quantitative analysis. We found that subjects tend to use wearables daily (60%) or several times a week (33%), and 91% plan to use them even more. Subjects indicated multiple usages for wearables. Most subjects were using wearables for healthcare and wellness (61%) or sports and fitness (54%) and had smartwatches wearable type (74%). The model explains 24.1% (p < 0.01) of the variance of continued intention to use. As a theoretical contribution, the findings support using the ECM as a theoretical foundation for explaining the continued use of wearables. Partial least squares (PLS) and qualitative data analysis highlight the relative importance that wearable users place on perceived usefulness. Most notable are tracking functions and design features such as device battery, integration with other apps/devices, dialogue support, and appeal.