Connected health market will reach $8B in 2018

By Aditi Pai
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CEAThe wellness products market generated around $3.3 billion in 2013 and will increase to more than $8 billion in 2018 through product sales and software and service revenues, which is a 142 percent growth, according to a new report by Consumer Electronics Association in conjunction with Parks Associates.

Device manufacturers sold more than 40 million wellness products in 2013, according to the report, and this figure will rise to more than 70 million by 2018.

“Current healthcare reform is driving demand for innovative products and services that people can manage themselves,” CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “Consumer electronics companies are paying close attention to the rise of a young, dynamic market for connected health and wellness devices. As a result, these products allow healthcare providers to engage with their patients more effectively and help consumers better self-manage their own care needs.”

In a survey of just under 2,000 mobile phone users, CEA found 29 percent of users with health problems would try a device with easy usability to track their condition and progress towards their goals, and 27 percent of mobile phone users would prefer a personalized plan to help guide them through their journey to better health.

Another CEA study was published in late 2013 found consumer interest in purchasing a wearable fitness device rose to 13 percent in 2013 from 3 percent in 2012. The most prominent reason people chose to use a wearable fitness device, 52 percent of those surveyed, was helping with motivation. After that, 47 percent chose monitoring fitness goal progress, and 46 percent chose monitoring physical activity levels or intensity.

Of those that own a fitness device, 37 percent have pedometers, 26 percent have fitness video games and 21 percent have portable blood pressure monitors. CEA found no declines in consumer ownership of any tracked category of fitness technology products in 2013.

New products that consumers are planning to buy include dedicated wearable fitness devices, fitness apps, and fitness video games and calories trackers, which were all at 13 percent. New features that consumers are interested in include heart rate tracking at 95 percent, calories burned at 94 percent, and steps taken at 92 percent.

Smartwatches were just less popular than fitness apps, devices and video games, at 9 percent interest. The features within the smartwatches that users were most interested in were aimed at fitness, such as health monitoring (91 percent), peak performance monitoring (90 percent) and providing workout routines (82 percent).

Overall, CEA predicts that shipment revenues will reach $854 million by the end of 2013, an increase of 32 percent over last year, and revenue will surpass $1 billion in 2014, a 37 percent increase over 2013.