Wearable connected device revenues will grow to more than $6 billion in 2018, according to new findings from ABI Research. The survey tracked four areas: sports, fitness and wellness; home monitoring devices; remote patient monitoring; and professional (on-site) healthcare.
Of the four markets, sports, fitness and wellness was the largest, always producing at least half the revenue over the forecast period. Within this category heart rate monitors are the shipment leader today, although by 2017, ABI Research predicts activity trackers will grow at a 40 percent compound annual growth rate and overtake heart rate monitors.
“Fitness activity trackers are quickly gaining popularity in the market. Different from other more single-use or event-centric devices, activity trackers monitor multiple characteristics of the human body including movement, calories burned, body temperature, and sleep tracking,” ABI Senior Analyst Adarsh Krishnan stated in a press release.
Home monitoring was the second biggest market for wearable devices and will see a 39 percent compound annual growth rate. ABI also predicted a crossover between personal emergency response systems (PERS) and activity trackers. MobiHealthNews predicted trend when contributing editor Neil Versel wrote about how fitness trackers were prototypes of future mPERS devices because of their passive nature. Last month, Doro, which specializes in making phones for seniors, and activity tracker maker Withings partnered to bring Withings devices to Doro's market at a discounted price.
The two remaining markets, remote patient monitoring and professional (on-site) healthcare, have fewer suppliers and higher costs, which accounts for their lesser contribution to overall predicted revenues. ABI Research notes, however, blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters are the most popular devices in these market segments.
Last year, IMS Research reported that by 2016 the “minimum revenue opportunity” for wearable devices will be $6 billion. IMS Research also notes that the current market for wearable devices is concentrated around a small group of products in the healthcare, medical, fitness, and wellness areas.