How Wearable Technologies Can Drive Social Impact in Colombia

A new report by Dalberg Advisors highlights the potential impact the market growth of wearable technologies can unlock in Colombia, use cases that include reducing health insurance costs, providing more effective healthcare to older populations, and driving better public policy choices.

Wearable technologies such as activity bands and smartwatches are still relatively new products globally but have already demonstrated their potential to drive impact across a range of sectors. The US healthcare company Human Vitality, for example, has reduced medical costs by 18% by incentivizing their members to use wearable technologies through rewards for measurable healthy activities such as taking at least 10,000 steps per day. The nursing home company Holy Family Senior Living in Pennsylvania has reported a 17% reduction in hospital readmissions by implementing their own wearable program which encourages residents to be more self-aware of their health and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospitals. And countless companies are reporting their employees are healthier and more active after implementing their own programs to incentivize the use of wearables.

Compared to the US and Europe, the market for wearables in emerging markets such as Colombia is still nascent but rapid growth in sales of more than 30% is providing an opportunity for local stakeholders to now imagine what may be possible in the short term from a impact perspective and start to identify, catalyze, and grow their own indigenous impact use cases.

A new report by Dalberg Advisors looks at the current state of the wearables market in Colombia and where the most promising areas to drive impact exist. The report prioritizes six opportunities based on their feasibility, potential for social impact, and potential for financial return in the Colombian context. These are:

  • Improve risk estimation for insurers and encourage healthy behaviors in insurance holders
  • Monitor chronic diseases
  • Monitor the elderly population
  • Encourage healthy behavior in companies/employees
  • Encourage healthy behaviors of citizens
  • Generate inputs for the development of public policies

The report also examines the barriers that may limit the implementation of these use cases and what stakeholders can do to remove them.

A copy of the report (in Spanish) can be found here. For more information on the report, please contact:

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