News Feature | September 15, 2014

100 Million Wearables To Ship In Next 5 Years

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Healthcare Wearables Growing

According to a report from ABI Research, wearable remote patient monitoring devices will ship in the millions in coming years.

Patients themselves could be providing a great deal of data if the trend of wearing remote health monitoring devices continues. A report from ABI Research predicts that over the next five years, close to 100 million wearable devices will ship in what they call “a key opportunity” for providers.

According to the report, top tech companies including Apple, Google, and Samsung have announced plans to provide remote patient monitoring services. “RPM offers the promise of greater care and flexibility for patients while bringing efficiency and cost savings to health service providers. However, adoption has been stymied by a range of factors including device availability, device and service regulation, inertia and a high barrier to entry for new players in the space.”

“Data has traditionally resided in silos belonging to specific applications delivered primarily by device vendors themselves. New cloud platforms capable of collecting data from a range of vendor devices and sharing it securely with a range of related parties including patients, healthcare providers, and payers will drive adoption and bring more connected devices to market,” comments Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research in a press release.

This all sounds like excellent news for doctors and researchers who need data, but recent reports found some doctors don’t trust the information wearables collect. Not all wearables are up to clinical standards and many have little to no security.

For others, however, wearables are a convenient and entertaining way to track health and fitness. If the goal is counting steps or calories and it makes patients healthier, doctors need not worry about harnessing the data they provide.