Healthcare wearables in line for $7bn revenue increase through 2021

Despite the fact the sector is getting little love right now, expect wearables to make a resurgence, particularly in healthcare.

That’s the latest verdict from Juniper Research which argues that the growth of smart glasses in particular is set to hit $9 billion by 2021 as the ‘new generation’ emerges.

The paper, titled ‘Smart Wearables: Vendor Strategies, Opportunities & Forecasts 2017-2021’, predicts a $7 billion increase for healthcare revenues in the next four years.

On the consumer side, Juniper argues that ‘more ambitious’ wearable devices will bring more and better devices to consumers. The researchers cite smart glasses being made to look more like conventional glasses as a step towards removing the ‘stigma’ of it on one hand – and with another drive up and renew the focus on private use cases.

Hearables were also considered to ‘bring more possibilities’ as Juniper put it – but as Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories, noted in sister publication IoT News, there is plenty still to be done on the legal and security side before it becomes mainstream reality. “The hard part won’t be knowing how or when we can make use of these new devices, but when not to,” Crum wrote.

When it comes to mobility in healthcare, plenty has been said around both the potential and the pitfalls. According to a Red Hat survey from November, 82% of healthcare organisations polled had a fully implemented mobile strategy, although an overwhelming 98% and 97% said they had concerns over app security and technical issues respectively.

As Juniper puts it, it’s one thing to get the data from wearable healthcare devices, but another thing altogether to get results from it.

“Wearable biometric data alone isn’t immediately helpful,” said James Moar, author of the report. “The key task for wearable healthcare now is to make the data meaningful to healthcare professionals. This means better algorithms to process the data, and new interfaces to contextualise it.”

Elsewhere, FancyFon Software argues the business value of wearables is ‘still a largely untapped opportunity’, announcing new features for the Samsung Gear S3 through its security and management product, FAMOC. “Together with Samsung we have a common vision on how wearable technologies can be widely applied in business processes today,” said Bartosz Leoszewski, FancyFon CEO. “We know it’s a significant future opportunity that might transform business beyond simple operational cost savings and risk management.”

You can find out more about the Juniper report here (registration required).

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