Report: mHealth platforms to grow smartphone accessory hardware

The mHealth smartphone accessory hardware market will hit $3 billion in five years, with top handset players' interfaces--specifically from Samsung and Apple--playing an instrumental role, according to a new Juniper Research report.

Increased awareness of healthcare platforms will drive development of more sophisticated mHealth devices, notes the report, from sleep trackers and diabetes oximeters to blood pressure cuffs.

"As health platforms support more 'medical' devices, rather than just today's fitness trackers, they will usurp the territory occupied by chronic disease monitoring companies," states report author Anthony Cox in an announcement, specifically noting Apple's HealthKit and Samsung's SAMI platforms.

Apple HealthKit's has started a wave of big support and enthusiasm--with one analyst firm projecting the platform will be a major driver for a 31.5 percent growth rate over the next four years in mHealth market; however, it's also igniting concerns regarding privacy, sharing data and even the use of medical terms.

Samsung's mHealth foray came well ahead of Apple, though there's been little news since the handset maker launched a digital health initiative that boasts open hardware and software platforms for mHealth technology advancement and innovation in late May. Though just about a year ago Samsung and health insurer Cigna signed a multi-year agreement to co-develop health and wellness related features built into Samsung's S Health platform. 

The Juniper research report predicts regulatory agencies will embrace digital health options and likely impose less stringent regulatory mandates. In addition, well-documented trials will likely be required when it comes to advancements in remote patient monitoring tools, according to the report.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- check out the report

Related Articles:
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Apple discusses HealthKit with hospitals, Allscripts
Analyst: Apple's financial impact on mHealth worth billions
Apple HealthKit lures Cerner, athenahealth into development efforts
Samsung debuts open Simband platform to drive digital health initiative

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