Due to newly commercialized solutions and pent up demand, wearables dedicated to chronic disease monitoring and other clinical applications are expected to transform care provision models.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Wearable Technologies in Clinical and Consumer Health,” finds the global healthcare wearable devices market earned revenues of $5.1 billion in 2015 and estimates this to reach $18.9 billion in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.9%. Meanwhile, consumer health wearables are expected to grow at a CAGR of 27.8%, and medical and clinical-grade wearables are expected grow at a CAGR of 32.9%.
“Breakthrough technological innovations in wearable electronics, sensors, alternate power sources and wireless platforms are enabling novel applications that would not have been feasible even five years ago,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health Research Director Venkat Rajan. “Moving beyond basic consumer centric applications, newer wearable devices with more robust and reliable feature sets open a wide spectrum of clinical use cases.”
While the market for consumer fitness technologies provide large market opportunities and simplified paths to market, these devices face high degrees of competition and narrow product lifecycles before being supplanted by the next buzzworthy device. Recognizing these dynamics, developers are investing greater focus towards medical grade gadgets that provide greater relevancy and reliability in health management.
Clinical grade wearables technologies enable care anywhere-anytime support paradigms. Market dynamics in high-acuity or other medical use cases dictate attention towards interoperability, affordability and data accuracy.
“Clinical wearables must concurrently justify their value to payers, patients and clinicians to gain market foothold,” said Rajan. “Confidence in the accuracy of collected data is paramount to the utility of information in any medical decision support.”
Despite this tremendous opportunity, many wearable launches have struggled or failed to achieve expected traction. One common pitfall, are systems that are over engineered or unnecessarily complex. The effort required on the user side to understand, maintain or properly operate the device would often lead to high abandonment rates after a few months.