Skip to main content

Healthcare Wearable Device Apps Gain Momentum

In 2015, the wearable technology market will reach $24.2 billion. However, 74 percent of that growth will be with mature wearable product categories -- such as smart watches, wireless earphones and blood glucose test strips, according to the latest market study by IDTechEx Research.

The last five years has seen significant interest in new wearable devices and associated software applications -- particularly fitness trackers -- as demonstrated by the following Google Trends report.


Many of the companies looking to commercialize a new wearable technology are searching for business partners within the healthcare and medical apparatus industry. The motivation is somewhat obvious.

The upside opportunity for wearable devices is in the medical and healthcare apps environment. Moreover, including blood glucose monitoring use cases, healthcare is already the largest single sector -- measured by sales revenue -- in the established wearable technology marketplace.

Some of the key advantages offered by emerging new components are highly applicable to healthcare -- offering new, comfortable, portable and practical ways to measure the human body, utilizing stretchable sensor electronics and thin film flexible batteries.

However, more than any other sector, healthcare applications require data reliability and accuracy. These key requirements can create significant barriers to market entry.

While many of the medical tests that are currently conducted under supervised hospital conditions can be produced with user-installed wearable devices, the challenge is to achieve equivalent or superior reliability and accuracy at lower price points.

That said, according to the IDTechEx assessment, wearable technology solutions offer more practical, comfortable and convenient in numerous healthcare-related situations.

Medical device manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, already invest in significant research and development of new technologies, and these types of companies are usually the primary targets for vendors looking to commercialize digital components.

However, progress can also take a huge investment in time. Where the sensor has important health consequences, it will need to be approved by the local government regulator. That typically means long clinical trials and potentially many years of market development activities.

Then it has to be approved for reimbursement by Governments versus the incumbent technology -- if there is one to use, for comparison. This approach is similar to the pharmaceutical industry model -- where long-term research and development investment is the norm, but the potential for blockbuster sales revenue is the outcome.

In contrast, unregulated health-related devices -- such as general fitness trackers -- can get to market much faster but are much more prone to open competition. As an example, some of the current fitness bands are now made in China for less than $5, according to the IDTechEx study.

As a result, savvy hardware and software vendors will continue to adapt to the rapidly evolving field of emerging opportunities within the wearables market and the broader Internet of Things (IoT) economy.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Healthcare and Smart City Apps Drive 5G IoT

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology for cellular networks is a successor to fourth-generation (4G) wireless technology. By 2023, Juniper Research anticipates that there will be over 1 billion 5G connections globally. The technology will provide the data infrastructure for the advancement of wireless communications and for new developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) -- including smart cities and healthcare. 5G IoT Market Development According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, 5G IoT connections will reach 116 million globally by 2026 -- that's increasing from just 17 million connections in 2023. Juniper analysts predict that the healthcare sector applications and government or other smart city services will drive this outstanding 1,100 percent growth over the next three years. Juniper examined 5G adoption across key industry sectors -- such as the automotive, mobile broadband, and smart homes -- and forecasts healthcare and smart cities will accoun

How Savvy Leaders Re-Imagine Work in 2023

As we look to the year ahead, there will be significant challenges and opportunities facing the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) role. In order to be successful, savvy HR leaders must be prepared to take proactive steps that adapt and evolve. "HR leaders have faced an increasingly unpredictable environment amid many organizations mandating a return to office, permanently higher turnover and burnt out employees," said Emily Rose McRae, senior director at Gartner . HR Innovation Market Development One of Gartner's key predictions for 2023 is that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will continue to increase within the enlightened digital workplace. This transition will require HR leaders to develop new skills and competencies in order to effectively manage and lead teams that are increasingly relying on these enabling technologies. Additionally, HR leaders will need to ensure that their organizations are investing in the necessary infrastructure and re

Top 10 CFO Priorities Require Rethinking Finance

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role is essential to digital business growth. While CFOs do not get closely involved in the tactical details of the digital transformation of their functions, they still recognize its strategic importance. According to the latest survey by Gartner, CFOs are faced with the challenge of balancing the need for substantive digital business innovation with financial cost control and risk management. "CFOs will be stretched thinly across many activities in 2023. The survey revealed a wide range of actions CFOs plan to either lead or be significantly involved with," said Marko Horvat, vice president at Gartner. Survey Findings: The Top Ten Priorities Cost Optimization - Cost reduction remains the top priority for CFOs as they look for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency in their operations. This includes identifying cost-saving opportunities through automation, outsourcing, and business process improvement. Business Continuity - The global C