Much is made of the enormous potential for wearable wireless sensors to deliver remote healthcare, and for good reason. But over the next five years, adoption of wireless healthcare sensors will lag well behind uptake of consumer-driven sports, fitness and wellness devices.
A range of factors – from wireless protocol standardization and new device availability to changing social patterns related to participation in activities – will see consumers increasingly turn to wearable wireless sensors to monitor (and often share) their performance results. A combination of M2M and short range wireless connectivity will be embedded in a range of consumer wellness and professional healthcare devices that will connect data collection to cloud applications.
“There is real and strong growth potential for wearable wireless devices in the consumer market today,” says ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins. “These devices don’t require the same level of complexity and regulation to deploy that healthcare devices do.”
Instead, sports, fitness and wellness monitoring will enable established and new players in the market to tie wearable devices sales to online applications and the recurring revenues of value-added subscription services.
“Enabling online fitness data collection and sharing will drive key new revenue streams,” adds Collins. “Online applications also bring the promise of a social networking effect, with participants sharing their results with friends or new groups formed within the application, thus spurring further adoption.”
The sports, fitness and wellness market will leverage a range of short-range wireless protocols and M2M connectivity to grow at a 46% CAGR from 2010 to 2016, reaching just under 80 million device sales in 2016.
Alongside their adoption in the sports, fitness and wellness market, wearable wireless devices will also see use in a range of home health-related markets such as home monitoring.
ABI Research’s new “Wireless Health and Fitness” study assesses the market opportunity for wireless enabled devices and communications within the home and consumer market. Analysis and forecasts are split across three broad categories: sports, fitness and wellbeing; home monitoring; and remote patient monitoring.