One in five Swiss people measure their heart rate with a connected device

The quantified “I” is a common practice in Switzerland. This is one of the findings of the 2022 Observatory study “Digital Society and Solidarity” by Sanitas. After an increase between 2018 and 2020, the number of Swiss who register their activities or statements using a smartphone or other connected devices has since stabilized.

Step tracking, available right on your smartphone, is the most common of these practices (41% of respondents do so). “Counting steps is practiced by both women and men. On the other hand, sports activities and performances are more often recorded by men,” the authors note. In terms of other activities taken into account in the study, we observe that almost one in four women monitors their menstrual cycle, and one in five measures their pulse using a connected device.

Measuring Your Performance Drives Behavior Change

The practice of quantitative self-determination influences the behavior of those who practice it. For example, half of the Swiss who record their steps say they walk more often and/or longer than before. This change in behavior is also observed in other activities, but less frequently. Measuring your heart rate is the least likely to cause changes.

However, the use of these devices does not create pressure, the feeling of which has even been decreasing for two years now. In 2022, 12% of users in Switzerland are under pressure to collect digital data in their workplace. The share is 13% in the context of sports activities. “Sports is the only area where the pressure perceived by measuring performance data has increased slightly overall again compared to last year. This growth is especially observed in the age group of 18-35 years, ”the authors of the report specify.

Digital transformation is perceived less positively

When it comes to digital transformation in a broader sense, the study shows that the Swiss perceive this topic quite positively. But they look more critical than last year. While there was a steady increase in positive reviews between 2018 and 2021, that momentum was interrupted in 2022. “We are seeing a slowdown in this trend towards more and more positive reviews. Obviously, there was a certain saturation, ”the authors of the study analyze.

The main positively perceived aspects of digitalization are increasing the efficiency of processes, expanding the range of opportunities and transparency. While aspects of control and surveillance, the loss of individuality and pressure in terms of performance are perceived negatively.

To what extent do the Swiss trust digital processes? As for the patient’s card, they trust its electronic version more than the paper one. No preference arises between voting by mail and the electronic process. Mobile payment always inspires more confidence, the degree of which is now almost at the level of cash. In contrast, the Swiss rely more on people than on digital technologies when it comes to signing documents, driving a car and medical diagnostics.

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