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Smart Home Healthcare Apps Gain Momentum

Healthcare sector innovation tends to progress at a slow pace, due to a number of historical factors that inhibit agility. For example, the Smart Home healthcare market continues to grow and evolve, but the scale of the opportunity remains under-penetrated.

Last year, new smart home healthcare shipment and service revenues grew 25 percent to reach $22.9 billion worldwide, but that growth rate may be hard to sustain, despite the potential for further growth.

According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, new smart home healthcare shipment and service revenues will reach $26.5 billion in 2023 -- that's up by 15 percent from 2022.

Smart Home Healthcare Market Development

Smart home healthcare, encompassing connected home care, remote patient monitoring, and social robotics, can improve the health and care of the most vulnerable while reducing staffing and other costs.

It also represents an opportunity for a host of players from smart home vendors and beyond to extend existing offerings and services into the enormous potential market of Healthcare innovations.

"Demographic direction, economic reality, and technology capabilities all align and support the potential of smart home healthcare demand, but it remains a market stifled by channel issues, funding complexity, and inertia," says Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research.

Home care, where wearable devices, home sensors, and even robot companions unobtrusively monitor and engage with those requiring light levels of care and companionship, represents a significant upside opportunity.

Despite a boom in do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches leveraging smart home equipment such as smart displays and sensors during the pandemic, the smart home industry has failed to offer similar packed services, according to the ABI analyst assessment.

However, traditional Personal Emergency Response players, such as Connect America, have expanded their offerings to include greater sensing and capabilities. Yet the market growth potential has thus far been relatively untapped.

There are clear pockets of growth, particularly in Remote Patient Monitoring applications, supported by health insurance requirements and growing consumer awareness of the value of connected services. 

Last year saw strong growth for Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) shipments and services, with Abbott Labs, Dexcom, and Medtronic all showing strong growth, particularly outside the U.S. market. 

The ABI study finds that CGM shipments grew 28 percent year-on-year in 2022, showing CGM as a prime example of connectivity, bringing greater flexibility and value to long-term medical management of a chronic condition and creating lasting, valuable opportunities.

Outlook for Smart Home Healthcare Apps Growth

"It is the consumer appeal and single vendor offerings driving adoption, rather than healthcare services, which offer the potential to support a range of integrated monitoring and management devices and applications. Real growth and value still require broad healthcare industry support," Collins concludes.

That said, it's clear to me that Healthcare services providers -- such as hospitals and medical centers -- need help and guidance to plan, develop, launch and manage these type of new digital care service offerings.

A case in point, the deployment of software automation for the streamlining of clinician workflow has been an area of potential new applications growth. But progress has been slow to materialize.

That's why I believe the most effective new digital care service introductions will be based on a co-creation model, where multiple stakeholders -- such as healthcare provider, management consultant, and vendor supplier -- work together to reduce and/or remove known barriers to progress.

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