There is a huge emerging market today for wearable health apps and devices. The apps are deemed to transform the field of medical science and wellness in incredible ways. Such apps are now available in plenty of fields like wellness and health care, security, sports, business operations, lifestyle, glamour, communication etc.
According to researches, the sale of wearable medical devices is expected to reach an annual 100 million by 2016 and the sale of sports related apps is deemed to reach 80 million by 2016. In the healthcare sector, themarket for the wearable technologies is expected to exceed $2.9 billion in 2016. Thus the wearable health devices and apps are being touted as the next big technological wave after tablets.
Wearable technology and devices in healthcare industry have the potential to revolutionize the healthcare market and this will help the patients as well as the clinicians to monitor the vital symptoms and signs of the crucial health parameters like ECG monitors, glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors etc.
These devices can be synchronized with the cell phone apps to increase accessibility and direct monitoring, they are cheap as compared to a visit to the hospital, clinic or pathology lab,these are precise and safe for use, the data received is accurate and repeatable, the reports can be generated quickly and these apps save time hence are convenient.These devices are apt for purposes of health monitoring and rehabilitation purposes. It is easy to use and no training is required to operate them.
The mobile technology in association with the wearable health and well being apps is touted as the next big thing in the future of technology. Whether you want to get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, manage a specific health condition, mange your intake of alcohol or manage blood sugar, all this can be achieved with the health and wellness apps. The customers will be able to make informed and improved lifestyle decisions with the help of these health apps and prevent chronic diseases by detecting their early onsets. These will also reduce the cost of treatment of the diseases.
Google, Apple and Samsung are the companies eyeing the wearable apps market to launch products in the consumer electronics segment. The current wearable apps in the market include smart watches. Apple’s hotly anticipated iWatch (similar products are available with Motorola, LG, Samsung) does have some of the features that consumers expect in the wearable apps category. The app developers have broken into the market with the wearable smart wrist wear.
The pebble smart watch, the Samsung galaxy gear and explorer version of the Google glass are all being seen as a start in the category. The Google glass has provided leverage to the idea of smart glasses in different clinical and professional settings.
- LG is planning to bring the bio sensing version of earphones to the market.
- A Washington based company Heapsylon has launched Sensoria smart socks that contain conductive threads, these threads function as sensors that monitor the pressure points of the foot.
- OMSignal, an apparel manufacturer, has manufactured a biometric shirt that that tracks respiration rate and the heart rate. Paired with the iPhone app, this smart gear can do wonders.
- Sony and Samsung have announced some important health initiatives and wearables.
- Apple has recently unveiled its API HealthKit to further build the health and wellness market.
For the Wearable Apps Developer, the software development kits that they need to deal with are a little different and the application programming interface that they would be dealing with is new for every device that they would deal with. With the android wear being launched in the market, there is another major platform that the developers would need to vouch for.
The app developers will be able to collect immense biometric data through these wearables and apps. The data will be of great use to the patients and the healthcare professionals thus creating immense value for the industry as a whole. The data collection will empower the industry, consumers and developers alike and set the stage for the wearables boom.What is important is to protect the privacy of the consumers and to follow the regulatory compliances of the healthcare industry. As the territory is uncharted for most developers hence it is an untapped opportunity for the developers. Hundreds of dollars that are being invested in the R&D of the wearable technology market and the focus of all major players right from Apple to Sony to Google on health is hint enough that the wearable technology is capturing the imagination of the industry and the public and this is here to stay and strengthen its foot.
As the demand by the consumers for the ability to assess and monitor their wellness and health and to be able to share this with the doctors and the health providers through these devices, the opportunity as well as the responsibility of both the application developers and manufacturers of these smart devices increases. They now need to provide easy to use and safe apps and devices for their consumers and the apps should be able to improve the healthcare domain by helping the medical professionals to provide better patient care that is cheap, reliable and easy to use and based on the data driven insights.
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