PARTNER GUEST POST: Intersog is a Chicago-based provider of mobile software development services.

Smart wearables are not just about Google Glass or the Apple Watch, in the healthcare sector, wearables are turning out to be a vast profitable market. Technology has evolved considerably over the years and the advantages of using these tools to enhance healthcare initiatives are clear.

The wearable healthcare industry is currently experiencing a boom and the use of wearables with a focus on healthcare is expected to triple over the next three years. At the same time, the current trend of fitness wearables is expected to experience decline. According to Juniper Research, individuals will be purchasing other devices by next year that perform similar functions like smart watches and will be related fitness devices.

This phenomenon has been driven by the fact that these devices are becoming more intelligent each day and as a result, they are capable of motivating healthy behaviors, provide medical insight, and provide the user with more options. In the past, fitness and healthcare related devices just provided flat data which was not very useful in terms of influencing behaviors.

Healthcare Wearable Niche

When embarking on developing healthcare related wearable technology, it is important to identify a niche that provides a clear benefit to consumers. Currently the marketplace is flooded with applications and wearables that monitor vital signs, heart rate, diets, and glucose levels.

A segment that is seeing rapid growth is the smart wearables segment that caters to the booming senior population. As the demand grows for wearable products, we are currently witnessing a transition from step counters to critical remote health monitors. This in turn creates opportunities for business as companies will look to incorporate big data into their initiatives.

The game changer here is basically providing wearables that provide healthcare professional with two modes of communication. By providing additional data, medical professionals are able to make informed decisions when treating a particular patient.

Wearable Privacy Concerns

In the near future, physicians and healthcare agencies will be able to provide better healthcare and deliver quality and efficient care unlike any time before. The data collected from each individual will enable healthcare professionals to make better decisions when it comes to the care of an individual. This approach also allows insights, identify patterns, and will enable medical professionals to identify long-term risks and treat them before it becomes a serious medical problem.

However these healthcare benefits come with serious privacy concerns that need to be properly addressed by the industry. Patient data must be protected and never sold or shared with any other individual or agency. The data must also be available to patients who can choose to share the details with other clinicians. Further, the federal government also needs to address regulatory issues to provide insights into development, investment, and adoption.

Wearables in Healthcare: the roadmap to a consumer product

Wearables in Hospital

A market segment that is expected to experience significant growth is smart wearable technology in hospitals. Patient services within hospitals will be optimized from the moment the patient checks in. As a result, the future of digital health will focus on providing services like the following:

  • Information & tracking (tracking patients within the hospital)
  • Hospital navigation (mapping and navigation tools)
  • Information & engagement solutions
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Education & further engagement
  • Access for loved ones
  • Build Wearable Communities

As our society evolves and gets catapulted into the next digital phase, it is important for developers to focus on gamification to build wearable groups as well as health and fitness communities. Competition is part of the human psyche, so if the wearables are going to stand the test of time, they need to incorporate gamification to keep influencing positive behaviors.

In the future, it is not farfetched to expect health plans to offer incentives for members to join a wearable heath game. By providing incentives to users, participation can be increased and this in turn creates more engaging competition for the participants.

In the end, all the extensive data will have the potential to improve health of the population on a grand scale.

Wearable Healthcare Marketplace

As the market is flooded with established players and new entrants, there is a lot of competition to get noticed. Some of the players in the market are as follows:

  • The Smart Stop (wearable to help you quit smoking)
  • Vitaliti (keep track of your vitals)
  • Leaf Healthcare Ulcer Sensor (patient ulcer monitoring)
  • Pulse Play (increase fitness with gamification for racket players)
  • Embrace (activity monitor with medical grade sensors)
  • Valedo Back Therapy (improve lower back health with gamification & exercises)

The overall wearable healthcare market is still in its infancy, but the current developments promise a bright future.

Are you working with smart wearable technology? What has your experience been with the healthcare segment? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.

 

Photo credit: Technology Advice

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