Report: mHealth wearable growth spurred by sensor tech, chronic disease needs

Advances in sensor technologies and mobile Internet are driving huge growth for the wearable healthcare segment, which is predicted to soar from today's $2 billion to $41 billion by 2020, according to a report from Soreon Research.

The study, "Smart Wearable Healthcare 2014," notes the biggest healthcare growth segments attributing to the market's 65 percent annual growth rate include diabetes, obesity, sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease, according to an announcement on the report.

"Today, we are at the mere beginning of this deep transformation of the healthcare sector. New technologies are being developed by innovative medtech companies, pharma, mobile phone manufacturers, software companies, start-ups and research organizations around the world," Pascal Koenig, Soreon research director, said in the announcement. "The penetration of smart wearable healthcare technology will take years, even decades in some cases. However, the combination of enormous clinical benefits with the potential for cost savings will result in a strongly growing market."

The growth prediction comes as interest in mHealth wearables is expanding on the manufacturer side, but not growing nearly as fast on the consumer or in the medical professional field.

Security and privacy issues remain big consumer concerns and physicians aren't embracing mHealth tools because of regulatory mandates on patient information and data accuracy concerns. 

Yet such dismal user adoption stats aren't slowing down wearable device vendors as more manufacturers are jumping into the industry. BlackBerry is reportedly the latest mobile device making mulling an entrance into the growing market. And a recent ABI research report expects nearly 100 million wearable monitoring devices will ship over the next five years.

According to the Soreon research the top three players creating the most "disruptive" wearable devices include Jawbone, Abott Laboratories and Google with its smart contact lens project.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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