Wearable devices, currently the “in thing” for the healthcare sector, include smart watches, fitness trackers, smart glasses, body sensors, wearable cameras and medical devices. With wearable devices and through the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), consumers can order prescription drugs and pay for them online, as well as keep a record of their health. Developments are also allowing medical personnel to remotely monitor patient health conditions.
The growth in popularity of such devices has already been extraordinary and seems to continue. Global wearable medical device revenues are set to total in 2016 US$23.98 billion, a year-over-year growth of 4.8% from 2015, as rising awareness and disposable incomes continue to influence healthcare decision.
While wearable monitoring and diagnostic devices will have the highest unit sales in 2016, wearable therapeutic devices will continue to account for higher revenue, owing to their higher average selling price, with shipments totaling 38.63 million and worth US$14.54 billion in 2016. Patient monitoring, home healthcare, and health and fitness will continue to remain the key end use application segments of wearable medical devices.
Local, state, and federal laws, however, have not caught up with the rapid change in landscape of the digital world. The newer digital requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as Obamacare, indicate that physicians must keep electronic medical records. As such, the newer wearable devices and complementary platforms are now being developed to allow healthcare providers to recommend scheduled monitoring and medical care within the current framework.
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