Wearable devices and apps set to revolutionise healthcare sector

The market for wearable devices is still in its infancy, with manufacturers catering to a niche customer base. But improvements in the devices available and newer, interesting use cases will accelerate the transition to mass market proliferation, according to a new analysis by Frost & Sullivan.

In particular, the report, Growth Opportunities in the Global Wearable Devices Market, suggests that wearable devices will play a significant role in the healthcare industry and help push the technology to the mass market.

This new generation of connected devices can help deliver improved healthcare services through real-time, remote patient monitoring and post-surgery rehabilitation.

In the UK, although a recent survey by YouGov on behalf of Trustmarque found that only 10% of British adults had used a mobile health app to help them monitor and manage their health, more than two-thirds (68%) believe that the NHS should use technology more in order to increase efficiency, improve patient outcomes and raise the overall patient experience.

Three in four (76%) said they thought the NHS should offer or approve health apps that could, for example, be used for booking appointments, managing prescriptions and for diet/exercise tracking and advice.

As many as 81% of respondents said they would like to see more connected and wearable devices in healthcare. Potential applications of this technology include monitoring vulnerable people, monitoring patients at home and helping patients follow diet and exercise regimes.

“Wearable devices will extend beyond fitness tracking to include two-way communication between the user and the healthcare ecosystem,” said Shuba Ramkumar, senior research analyst in Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies unit.

“Though a number of applications currently address the business-to-consumer market, wearable devices will eventually offer support to healthcare institutions by sharing real-time data collected by the consumer.”

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