Research: More than 50M Wireless Health Monitoring Devices to Ship by 2017

New research out recently by IMS Research pegs the total number of wireless health devices shipped over the next five years at more than 50 million.  Interestingly, the firm suggests that consumers, not telehealth patients, will drive the most adoption of such devices.

According to the report, dubbed “Wireless Opportunities in Health and Wellness Monitoring – 2012 Edition,” medical devices bought by consumer to self-monitor their health will account for more than 80 percent of all wireless-enabled consumer medical devices in 2016.  The demand for self-monitoring one’s health, however, is growing much faster than that for telehealth implementation, according to the report.

Even without healthcare systems that are adapted for this, consumers want to be able to monitor and manage their own health at home.  However, the proportion of wireless devices used in managed telehealth programs is forecast to increase from just 5 percent in 2011, to 20 percent in 2016 as telehealth deployment grows.  “Due to the relatively slow deployment of managed telehealth systems, which is in part due to a reluctance from health providers to move past trials, issues with reimbursement, and stringent regulations related to the use and storage of medical data, medical devices used by the consumer to independently monitor their health will provide the biggest uptake of wireless technology in consumer health devices over the next five years,” explained Lisa Arrowsmith, senior analyst at IMS Research.

The full report is available for download here, and includes a full assessment of the uptake of 10 connectivity technologies in five consumer health monitoring devices, five types of dedicated health hubs (with addition segmentation between managed telehealth devices and consumer medical devices), and five sports and fitness monitoring devices.

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