Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 07, 2012

Improved Connectivity to Mobile Handsets Fuels Wireless mHealth Devices

A strong growth for wearable wireless mHealth devices has been fueled by a range of new devices leveraging improved connectivity to mobile handsets. Showing an increase of up to 37 percent on 2011 shipments, nearly 30 million devices will have shipped.

In many smartphones, including Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy III, a new wave of interest and investment in the capabilities of wearable devices is being driven by the inclusion of Bluetooth Smart Ready connectivity. The market for these devices, between 2011 and 2017, will grow at a CAGR of nearly 40 percent.

While a host of start-ups have come to market with offerings extending the use and potential of collected data and how it can be used, existing wearable wireless sports and wireless vendor,s such as Polar, Garmin, Nike, Adidas, have all expanded wearable wireless sensor offerings during 2012.

"The ability to communicate with ultra-low power from a wearable device to smartphones and on to Internet applications using the phone as a gateway is driving a wave on innovation and investment,” said principal analyst, Jonathan Collins.

Including home monitoring for aging in place applications, wireless connectivity will also move into more medically related markets. It will be used in hospitals as well as for remote patient monitoring of long-term conditions away from professional healthcare locations.

Supported by mobile devices, mHealth, which is also known as mobile health, has emerged as a sub-segment of eHealth and is a term used for the practice of medicine and public health. mHealth offers the ability of remote individuals to participate in the healthcare value matrix, which in the past, may not have been possible. Stemming from the rapid rise of mobile phone penetration in low-income nations, mHealth has emerged in recent years as an application for developing countries.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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