IMS Research seems to pile on to growing number of research reports that point to wearable devices as an important trend in digital health: According to IMS by 2016 the "minimum revenue opportunity" for wearable devices will be $6 billion.
IMS Research notes that the current market for wearable devices is concentrated around a small group of products in the healthcare, medical, fitness, and wellness areas. Wearable devices that transmit vital signs and track user performance are found in this group. It includes continuous glucose meters from Abbott and Medtronic as well as activity monitors from Fitbit, Adidas, Nike, Garmin, Polar, and Suunto.
The research firm, however, predicts that the market for wearables will move beyond health and wellness to "include smart watches, smart glasses, sleep sensors, industrial and military heads-up displays and hand-worn terminals."
“A $6 billion market in 2016 is our most conservative forecast which assumes that the adoption of wearable technology will be limited by factors including lack of suitable technology, poor user compliance and lack of an overall enhanced experience from devices that are wearable as compared to non-wearable products. In our mid-range and upside projections, product introductions such as Google’s Smart Glasses and the rumoured Apple Smart Watch come to fruition and are successful. In addition, an increasingly self-aware consumer seeks more and more data on their health and fitness, leading to even more rapid expansion in the market for wearable technology," Theo Ahadome, senior analyst at IMS Research stated in a press release.
More on the IMS Research report here.