Health, wellness wireless sensor networks worth $16B by 2017

By 2017, more than 18 million health and wellness cloud-connected wireless sensor network (WSN) systems--excluding sports/fitness devices--will be shipped globally with annual revenues exceeding $16 billion, according to a report from San Diego-based technology research firm ON World.

"Smart mobile devices connected to sensing and control networks have created new opportunities where none existed just a few years ago," states the firm's announcement. "Health cloud platforms combined with sensor networks are providing bundling opportunities for telehealth, telecare and home service providers."

In 2017, solutions for chronic conditions such as blood glucose management and cardiac monitoring will make up 60 percent of the revenues. General wellness will increase by 1600 percent over the next five years when it will make up 41 percent of the device shipments, states the report.

After an analysis of more than 100 WSN products, the report identifies 16 wireless sensing applications that are transforming health and wellness, with more than half focused on self-management, prevention and general wellness. The report, based on a survey of more than 750 consumer early adopters, developers, manufacturers, service providers and healthcare organizations, covers technologies such as Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Smart, WiFi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, ANT, BodyLAN, and NFC, among others.

"In addition to reducing costs, cloud connected wireless sensing solutions are improving the quality of healthcare services as well as supporting the latest innovations for aging in place, self-management of chronic conditions and general wellness," Mareca Hatler, ON World's director of research, states in a press release statement.

According to the report, smartphone and cellular innovations include diabetes management systems from Cellnovo, Sanofi/AgaMatrix and Telcare, AliveCor's electrocardiograph monitoring system and Omron's NFC blood pressure monitor. Cardiocomm Solutions offers a handheld consumer ECG product that can be used with an FDA-approved software program for home use and remote monitoring by a physician. 

The report states that a growing number of Bluetooth health products are emerging for use with smartphones. 

A recent report from the California Healthcare Foundation found that over the next decade passive sensors will play a growing role in healthcare. Passive sensors, which do not require active engagement for their use or data transmission, will change patient care as they become ubiquitous in the daily lives of patients, supporting healthy lifestyles, self-care, and more personalized medicine, argues the report.

To learn more:
- read the announcement