Mary Meeker: Wearables and digital health ramping up

By Brian Dolan

Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsEach year technology analyst and Kleiner Perkins investor Mary Meeker shares her take on the state of the internet, the adoption rates of various technologies, and her predictions for the coming years. These days, this sweeping presentation often takes place at The Wall Street Journal's AllThings:D conference, and it serves as a pulse check of sorts for those in tech circles.

This year Meeker made a number of mentions of wearables and digital health, but her higher level adoption metrics should be of interest to MobiHealthNews readers, too.

Of course, most of the growth in new internet users is coming from emerging markets, especially China, but the USA now has about 244 million internet users -- or about 78 percent of the population -- and it added about 18 million over the course of the past four years.

On the mobile front -- Meeker noted that smartphone operating systems "made in the USA" like Apple iOS, Windows Phone, and Android now command about 88 percent of the world market, up from 5 percent in 2005 when European and Canadian operating systems ruled the day. Meeker also described the rapid acceleration of data created by mobile devices, which includes a growing amount of photo data and an increasing amount of video. For example, about 550 million photos are uploaded and shared each day across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Flickr.

One last important mobile metric: A year ago Meeker reported that 10 percent of all internet traffic was from mobile devices, now it's up to 15 percent. Meeker expects that 150 percent growth to continue year-over-year or accelerate.

According to Meeker, Jawbone UP users interact with the activity tracking device's smartphone app an average of five times per day. In aggregate, Jawbone UP users are capturing data on billions of steps each day and 700,000 or more hours of sleep each night.

MyFitnessPal, a diet and fitness community site and platform, has seen an increasing number of "API calls" for its data from its application partners month-over-month. Meeker's chart for this data shows MyFitnessPal's API calls went from about 15 million in February, to 25 million in March, to more than 50 million in April.

The slide that comes after the MyFitnessPal and Jawbone UP data shows that "behavior patterns" like smoking and obesity or inactivity account for about 40 percent of premature deaths as of 2007. More than any other premature death cause, according to Meeker.

Americans are also called out for being "underachievers" when it comes to "sharing everything" online. The world average from a country-by-country poll was 24 percent -- that's how many people claim they "share everything" or "most things" online. Saudi Arabia topped the list with a more 60 percent of those surveyed agreeing, while the US was well below the average with just 15 percent. The concept of "sharing everything" will be an interesting metric to follow once quantified self tools get to be more mass market and the public understands just how much they will be able to share in the coming years.

Be sure to read through Meeker's entire 117 slide presentation over at Slideshare.