Smart fitness device market poised for robust growth

Expanding consumer interest in using smart fitness devices to boost health, sleeker and sexier devices and increasing income among potential users are the top drivers spurring growth in the smart fitness device market.

One potential hurdle, specifically in emerging countries, is the high-price tag of such devices, notes a new Grand View research report, which defines smart fitness devices as smartwatches, activity trackers and mHealth apps, as well as smart shirt and bike computer technologies.

"Smartwatches have captured a handsome market share owing to increased penetration," the report's authors say, noting that the smartwatch now provides features such as heartbeat, temperature and pulse measurement, as well as blood glucose level monitoring. The evolving devices also typically boast GPS, thermometers, chronograph, camera and schedule capabilities.

The Apple Watch is viewed as the most compelling smartwatch device to hit the market in the past few years, and is also one of the priciest, with costs ranging from $350 to $1,000. Yet Fitbit, as FierceMobileHealthcare reported, holds more than 50 percent market share.

Increasing device adoption is also tied to broadband availability. A Parks Associates survey published in December notes consumer adoption of digital wellness devices within U.S. broadband households jumped from 26 percent in 2014 to 33 percent in 2015. A Consumer Technology Association research report, also published in December, projects that the fitness device market will hit $1.8 billion this year, an 18 percent growth rate compared to last year.

The report notes that the most mature smart fitness device market is North America, due to higher consumer awareness, advanced technologies coming in to play, favorable reimbursement policies and a higher spend on healthcare. The key vendor list includes Fitbit, Apple and Jawbone, as well as Withings and Humana.

For more information:
- read the report summary