Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Samsung, Apple to fuel interest in healthcare accessories: Juniper

Iain Morris
October 15, 2014
The healthcare accessory hardware market will be worth some $3 billion in revenues by 2019, according to a new study from Juniper Research, thanks to growing interest in healthcare-focused smartphone interfaces launched by Samsung and Apple.

According to the research company, the greater visibility and availability of healthcare smartphone platforms will persuade independent device makers to launch a wider array of more sophisticated mobile health products.

These are likely to include blood pressure cuffs, oximeters for diabetes and sleep monitors for sleep apnoea.

Even so, while Apple’s (Cupertino, CA, USA) HealthKit and Samsung’s (Seoul, South Korea) SAMI user interfaces will help to popularize consumer digital health, they could also have an impact on the opportunity for bespoke remote patient monitoring devices.

“As health platforms support more ‘medical’ devices, rather than just today’s fitness trackers, they will usurp the territory occupied by chronic disease monitoring companies,” said Anthony Cox, the author of the Juniper study.

Juniper also reckons that ‘ObamaCare’ is forcing the medical profession to consider the role of digital health in the industry.

As a result, more healthcare companies are likely to make investments in major digital healthcare players, such as Epocrates (San Mateo, CA, USA) and AirStrip (Lombard, IL, USA).

In the meantime, advanced electronic health records will support the growth of wider digital health ecosystems, while regulatory authorities will embrace the role of digital health and impose less stringent regulatory obligations on digital health companies.

Despite the positive outlook for the digital health industry’s future, there is still a need for widespread and well-documented trials to galvanize take-up of remote monitoring projects, according to Juniper.

Questions also remain over how digital healthcare projects will be reimbursed, says the company.
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