Healthcare One of Many Industries Set to Benefit from Wearable Devices
Many expect wearable devices to gain significant momentum in the enterprise over the coming years, but currently, the market only caters to a very niche base of customers.
However, improvements in the quality and capabilities of devices, as well as new and interesting use cases will accelerate the proliferation of wearable technology.
Additionally, an increasing number of industry-specific original equipment manufacturers are entering the market in partnership with technology companies, to place further emphasis on adoption.
Recent research by Frost & Sullivan in-line with these trends has determined that wearable devices will play a large role in the healthcare industry, delivering improved healthcare services through real-time, remote patient monitoring and post-surgery rehabilitation. Smart watches and fitness bands are currently the most popular wearable devices available.
"Wearable devices will extend beyond fitness tracking to include two-way communication between the user and the healthcare ecosystem," said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Senior Research Analyst, Shuba Ramkumar. "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."
Despite advancements in battery technology, the rising use of organic light-emitting diode screens, advanced sensors, and more complex features will intensify battery power concerns, according to the research.
With embedded sensors constantly collecting data and breaking down physical barriers by bringing sensitive data into common social and professional spaces, the implementation of strict privacy and security laws is crucial. Data regulation laws will require communication between technology vendors, legal institutions, and governments to determine the future of wearable device data.
"In the long-term, energy harvesting and wireless charging technologies will reduce battery issues, helping wearables to capture the interest of consumers," noted Ramkumar. "Assuming battery and data accuracy issues are resolved, the real value of wearable devices will accrue as part of the IoT ecosystem, enabling communication of data across devices."
In terms of a longer-term outlook, the research suggests that pursuing alternative business models will sustain customer interest in wearable devices. Service-based models and enterprise or vertical market partnerships may turn out to be especially effective in pushing wearable technology to the masses and driving adoption in the workplace.