Report: mHealth standards could propel use of tools, revenue

Robust growth is ahead for connected healthcare devices and fitness technology, with annual revenue expected to hit near $2 billion by 2019, a spike that represents a six-fold jump of this year's $320 million.

Yet there are several hurdles that could impede growth, according to a Juniper Research whitepaper. The list includes inconsistent regulatory action and privacy issues relating to sharing and security of personal data.

Predicting there will be 13 million users subscribing to mHealth tools within the next five years, the research firm says development of standards could actually propel the use and revenue expectation further than expected.

"Connected healthcare devices and the data they generate will offer substantial benefits to both stakeholders and consumers, potentially improving preventative healthcare," notes an announcement on the study.

Consumer adoption of such devices is tied to various factors including consumer education and expanding consumer knowledge of the benefits such device can provide, FierceMobileHealthcare previously reported.

The Juniper paper aligns with other recent mHealth industry reports, including a Tractica study that predicts smartwatches and fitness trackers will be at the forefront as the global wearable device market grows from 17 million shipments in 2013 to 187.2 million by 2020, representing a 34 percent market growth.

Juniper believes a compelling part of connected device growth will be the involvement of what it describes as "quantified others," meaning service providers that can drive meaning and recommendations regarding mHealth data.

"Connected fitness and health devices provide a way to collect biometric data, not interaction platforms," study author James Moar says in the announcement. "People want to interact with the devices at the app level--the draw is the information. Because of this, and the omnipresence of sensors, the importance of the hardware will diminish at a much faster rate than other CE market segments."

Of all the options in connected devices, Juniper believes smartwatches will win out as the most popular mHealth device, beating out wearable cameras. The report also predicts smart wireless devices, specifically smart glasses, will take deeper root within the enterprise.

For more information:
- get the whitepaper
- read the announcement

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