Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, March 30, 2015

Demand for Big Data Apps in Fitness and Healthcare

The introduction of open-source cloud computing services has helped to drive the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling new forms of wireless digital devices that are able to both send and receive data that's stored online.

Moreover, since the introduction of low-energy mobile communications began in the mid 2000s, we're moving beyond the early definition of IoT to now include consumer electronics (CE) devices which become part of the user's personal space.

Case in point: research from Juniper Research has found that annual revenues from connected healthcare and fitness online services will approach $2 billion by 2019 --that's nearly six times the $320 million value estimated for this year.

The findings from Juniper's latest market study also reveal that connected healthcare devices -- and the data they generate -- will offer substantial benefits to the consumers of these new products.

However, cloud service deployments will initially be constrained by inconsistent government regulation, alongside continued privacy concerns surrounding the sharing and security of personal data.


Personal Data Privacy Standards Development

The research highlights the evolving 'quantified others' trend -- that being the use of someone’s data by a healthcare professional or concerned party (such as a parent) to provide meaning and/or advice.

Companies like GOQii and Filip Technologies are using this technology to provide services beyond mere data provision. However, this has the potential to be undermined by unreliable data.

While medical devices have validation standards, fitness devices typically have no such benchmark. The development of standards would alleviate both consumer and medical professional concerns, potentially driving up user adoption.

"Connected fitness and health devices provide a way to collect biometric data, not interaction platforms," said James Moar, research analyst at Juniper Research.

Juniper believes that people want to interact with these smart devices at the app level – the attraction is the captured user information contained within these Big Data applications.

Because of this, and the omnipresence of sensors, the importance of the hardware will diminish at a much faster rate than other IoT market segments. Meanwhile, demand for analytics software, that can extract meaning from the data, will increase.

Other findings from the market study include:

  • Smart Wireless Devices will permeate the enterprise, with smart glasses in particular having a large impact.
  • Mobile point-of-sale devices are poised to take off in developing markets, with several key players looking to move into Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions in the coming years.
  • Smart watches will be the most popular consumer electronics connected devices, overtaking more established wearable cameras.