Date of Award

Spring 4-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Business and Information Systems

First Advisor

Dr. Omar El-Gayar

Second Advisor

Dr. Cherie Noteboom

Third Advisor

Dr. Yong Wang

Abstract

The flexibility and vitality of the Internet along with technological innovation have fueled an industry focused on the design of portable devices capable of supporting personal activities and wellbeing. These compute devices, known as wearables, are unique from other computers in that they are portable, specific in function, and worn or carried by the user. While there are definite benefits attributable to wearables, there are also notable risks, especially in the realm of security where personal information and/or activities are often accessible to third parties. In addition, protecting one’s private information is regularly an afterthought and thus lacking in maturity. These concerns are amplified in the realm of healthcare wearable devices. Users must weigh the benefits with the risks. This is known as the privacy calculus. Often, users will opt for the wearable device despite the heightened concern that their information may or will be disclosed. This is known as the privacy paradox. While past research focused on specific wearable technologies, such as activity trackers and smartphones, the paradox of disclosure despite concern for privacy has not been the primary focus, particularly in the realm of the manifestation of the paradox when it comes to the acceptance and use of healthcare wearable devices. Accordingly, the objective of the present research was to propose and evaluate a research model specifically oriented towards the role of privacy in the realm of healthcare-related wearables’ acceptance and use. The presented model is composed of sixteen constructs informed from multiple theories including multiple technology acceptance theories, the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), the Health Belief Model (HBM), and multiple privacy calculus theories. Using a survey-oriented approach to collect data, relationships among privacy, health, and acceptance constructs were examined using SmartPLS with intentions to validate the posited hypotheses and determine the influence of the various independent variables on the intention to disclose and the intention to adopt healthcare-wearables. Of particular interest is the posited moderating effects of perceived health status on intention to disclose personal information. The research endeavor confirmed significant evidence of the cost/benefit decision process, aka the privacy calculus, that takes place when deciding whether or not to disclose personal information in the healthcare wearables space. Perceived privacy risk was negatively correlated to intention to disclose while hedonic motivation and performance expectancy were positively correlated to intention to disclose. Furthermore, significant evidence was discovered pertaining to the privacy paradox via the moderating role that perceived health status plays regarding the relationships between the constructs of perceived privacy risk and intention to disclose and hedonic motivation and intention to disclose. Intention to disclose was also found to have a significant positive influence on intention to adopt. Contributions include understanding and generalization in the healthcare wearables adoption knowledge space with a particular emphasis on the role of privacy, as well as practical implications for wearable manufacturers and users.

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