The global healthcare sector will invest nearly $410 billion in IoT devices, software, and services in 2022, up from $58.9 billion in 2014, according to a new report from research and consulting firm Grand View Research.
The growth of IoT technologies in healthcare will be driven by a variety of factors including a steep rise in the global elderly population thanks to longer life expectancies, higher prevalence of diseases like diabetes and obesity, and increasing demand for health and fitness monitoring solutions, the report said. IoT technologies can help gather more data about patients’ health to improve patient monitoring and analyze health data to find new treatments for diseases.
Right now, IoT devices for healthcare are dominated by wearables, which make up 60% of the connected medial device market, according to the report. However, the report predicted fast growth in the near future for implantable medical devices like connected pace makers and implanted sensors that allow for real time patient monitoring. BI Intelligence estimates that 73 million IoT devices will be installed for the healthcare sector this year worldwide, rising to 161 million installations in 2020.
More investment is going towards the software and services segment of IoT healthcare solutions than to the hardware segment, according to the report. The software segment included applications and tools for data management, remote device management, analytics, and security. These systems help healthcare providers and patients in analyzing and protecting data from IoT devices, among other tasks. The services segment included services for integrating backend systems, consulting, and maintenance and support for IoT devices and software.
A select few companies including Microsoft, Cisco, and IBM dominate the IoT software and services segment for healthcare, the report said. That means these companies are taking the lion’s share of the money that the healthcare sector is investing in Iot technologies overall.
The health sector is the most promising area for wearables adoption. Several emerging consumer and professional healthcare trends, which dovetail with advances in health technology over the past five years, are driving interest in wearables. And where wearables are most commonly used for fitness-tracking purposes at the moment, they show great potential for widespread adoption in the healthcare sector.
Will McKitterick, senior research analyst at BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report entitled The Wearables in the Healthcare Sector Report that examines the use cases for wearables in health, ranging from consumers collecting fitness data to healthcare providers and insurers using wearables to improve health outcomes.
The report also explores barriers to widespread adoption of wearables in healthcare and how tech giants, including Apple, Google, and Samsung, are developing devices and platforms that will help bridge the gap between fitness tracking and actual medical care.
Here are some key points from the report:
- While adoption levels are growing, the wearables market is still in the early phases of expansion. We estimate global shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.8% over the five years, reaching 162.9 million units in 2020.
- Emerging consumer and professional healthcare trends are driving interest in wearables. For consumers, interest in quantifying personal health metrics is translating into demand for fitness tracking devices and smartwatches. Meanwhile, businesses in a variety of industries have been quick to sense the opportunities for harnessing health data from employees, consumer, and patients to help drive efficiencies and enhance services related to healthcare.
- Barriers remain blocking the widespread adoption of wearables in the healthcare sector. Device accuracy and regulation are two major sticking points for device makers and technologists to address. Concerns surrounding privacy and a lack of utility must also be addressed.
- Consumer-facing products will eventually be used for more advanced medical care. Tech giants, including Apple, Google, and Samsung, are investing significant resources into developing devices that will help bridge the gap between fitness tracking and actual medical care. Future products will serve both consumer and professional markets.
In full, the report:
- Looks at areas of the healthcare sector where wearables may have a tangible impact in years to come.
- Examines what broader trends in healthcare and technology are driving wearables adoption.
- Discusses how major tech players, including Apple, Google, and Samsung plan on transforming consumer wearables into powerful healthcare devices.
- Identifies the top hurdles to wearables adoption in the healthcare sector.
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