A report recently released by Frost & Sullivan claims that the global healthcare wearable devices market earned revenues of $5.1 billion in 2015 and estimates revenues to reach $18.9 billion in 2020, suggesting a growth of 270 percent in five years.
The report further elaborates that new technology will provide commercialized solutions, drive up demand, and wearables in the medical segment dedicated to chronic disease monitoring and other clinical purposes can transform care provision models.
Another market research report, this one by IDTechEx Research, showed that the wearable devices market was segmented in 2015. The second largest segment — Health, Medical, Fitness and Wellness — is the one with long-term prospects and technological potential, according to the report. The largest segment was category of Advanced Infotainment, which mostly includes all the smart watches from Apple, and Samsung that sync with smartphones and tablets.
While most companies try to appeal to various segments of the wearable devices markets, some made transforming healthcare industry to help physicians better monitor patients their goal. A little known company, Biotricity Inc., is focusing on biometric monitoring solutions for medical, healthcare and consumer use. The company has two devices that will launch into the market this year, Bioflux and Biolife.
Bioflux includes an ECG (heart-rhythm) monitoring device, software and access to a monitoring lab. The software component is already FDA approved and a standard for ECG monitoring in hospitals and cardiac clinics. Bioflux is only available with a prescription. It performs remote MCT diagnostic monitoring for up to 30 consecutive days and is a solution that enables physicians to diagnose cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary heart disease (CHD).
Biolife is a more easily accessible device designed to provide health and lifestyle solutions by monitoring ECG, respiration rate, calories, temperature, physical activity and more. The product is currently in development stages and will be ready to hit the market in the near future. Essentially, Biolife is a medical device designed to facilitate disease management, for example cardiovascular monitoring.
Companies like Koninklijke Philips NV and Medtronic PLC have been the medical devices business for decades, and it was only a matter of time until they capitalized on wearable devices. Back in 2014 Medtronic acquired Corventis, which made noninvasive cardiac sensors. Medtronic then announced its first medical wearable device, the Seeq Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) System.
Then there is Fitbit. The company’s CEO, James Park, focused heavily on the potential in the medical device segment after the recent earnings report. “We are learning that lack of consumer engagement is a critical missing element in many broad healthcare efforts such as population health and disease management,” he said. “Since our devices and services are already engaging, Fitbit has incredible opportunity to serve as the consumer healthcare engagement engine.”
Playing a wider role in medical wearable devices is becoming a main priority. Despite the impressive growth expectations for this segment, there are some challenges companies will have to deal with in the near term, like high costs and lack of insurance policies. These challenges, however, are expected to be resolved over time and are normal to new technologies in the medical field.