IIT Mandi study shows online reviews help customers in buying wearable health devices

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Vishu
Vishu Verma
Assistant Manager
New Delhi, Updated on Jan 25, 2023 13:12 IST

Analysis showed that reading the reviews written by users with similar backgrounds, combined with usage information related to ease of use, can affect whether or not potential users decide to herd in adoption of wearable health device.

Wearable devices can be connected to a smartphone or other sources to display health-related data and may offer features such as alerts, reminders, and personalised recommendations. 

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi have analysed the different factors that affect herding in adoption of wearable technologies for personal healthcare. They have used mathematical models to analyse data collected from surveys to provide insights into the marketing effectiveness of online reviews. 

The findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Marketing Communications. The research has been led by Saumya Dixit, Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Mandi, and co-authored by her PhD student Anjali Pathania from IIT Mandi and Gowhar Rasool, School of Business Studies, Central University of Jammu, Jammu. 

Wearable devices can be connected to a smartphone or other sources to display health-related data and may offer features such as alerts, reminders, and personalised recommendations. 

IIT Mandi researchers aimed to understand the role of online reviews in inducing other people to buy and use wearable technology for personal healthcare. They surveyed 434 wearable technology users and analysed the data using the method of Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) with Smart PLS. 

Explaining the technicalities of the research, Saumya Dixit, IIT Mandi, said, “We have proposed an integrated model based on herd behaviour, theory of homophily (peer influence) and tenets of uncertainties drawn from initial trust theory to understand 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 related to ease of use, usefulness of wearable technology for personal healthcare and the company's reputation can affect whether or not the potential users decide to herd in adoption of the wearable healthcare device. 

The research showed that online reviews by users who are similar to oneself (homophilous users) can help in herding potential customers into the adoption of wearable technology for personal healthcare.  

Thus, platforms that encourage consumers to leave their reviews must also encourage the reviewer to share information such as their gender, age, region, and specific health value facets (e.g., related to exercise, diet, rest, and usage of personal healthcare tools) along with their experiences of how wearable technology products have helped them achieve related health goals. This can bring in more customers and improve usage of wearable devices for personal healthcare in future. 

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About the Author
Vishu Verma
Assistant Manager

Vishu is a writer, an artist, a cat and an ardent music lover. She loves to read, sketch and explore new places in her leisure time. She has nine years of experience in print media.

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