There’s no doubt that the wearable technology and health app market exploded in the last few years, growing from 84 million units in 2015 to 245 million units in 2019. With an expected annual growth rate of 4.2%, its market volume is expected to be US $17,856 million by 2024.
Here are some interesting wearable technologies and health apps to keep an eye out for in 2020.
Health apps and wearables with health monitoring in real-time
Improvement in technology and the adoption rate for health apps and wearables has increased the scope of remote health-monitoring, allowing for better communication between patients and doctors. Wearable sensors can extract medical information from the patient and send them to healthcare providers instantly. Healthcare apps also make it possible to view patient history, reorder prescriptions, receive a reminder to take a medication, and more.
Fitness wearables with health apps
Smartwatches and fitness trackers have taken the lead in the wearable technology market in the last few years. Wearables and apps like Fitbit encourage healthy lifestyles, build communities, and even allow some healthy competition as users work toward their fitness goals. Apple’s new watch includes an ECG app that allows you to track (and share) this data with your doctor or someone else — with caveats.
Managing chronic conditions via wearables
As of 2014, “60 percent of American adults had at least one chronic condition, and 42 percent had multiple chronic conditions,” according to a Rand Corporation report. These include diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. Technology can potentially help manage conditions like these, such as the Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management (ADAM), an idea created by Hyekyun Rhee, professor of nursing at Rochester University. “The device is now patented and licensed to Health Care Originals, which has further refined the technology so that it can be worn as a flexible patch with a rechargeable battery anywhere on the upper torso, front or back. And not just to monitor asthma, but other respiratory conditions as well. It can even be used as an exercise monitor,” according to the University of Rochester.
Wearables for seniors and those with disabilities
Exponential growth in the aged population has led to an increased demand for healthcare services, and wearables have the potential to assist older adults and those with disabilities in many ways. Smart glasses, like those developed through the Adaptive and Mobile Action Assistance in Daily Living Activities (ADAMAAS) project, are designed help manage tasks and provide instructions. “The ADAMAAS glasses are designed to determine what the wearer is doing, such as cooking a meal, and not only provide context-appropriate assistance in the form of text, visuals or avatars on a virtual plane in the wearer’s field of view, but also react when a mistake is made,” according to an article in New Atlas.
As wearable technologies and health apps become widely marketed, we may see an even faster adoption rate in the coming year and even more innovation in this space.