Prediction: Mobile health device market to have increased clinical focus

By Brian Dolan
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Zephyr Covidien BioPatchThe mobile health market will grow eightfold over the course of the next decade, from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $41.8 billion in 2023, according to a recent report from Lux Research. The firm defines mobile health technology as leveraging "common consumer electronics and mobile communication technologies to collect and analyze personal health data". The decade of impressive growth will be driven by vital sign monitoring and in vitro diagnostic devices, according to the report.

While mobile health funding and revenues have largely been dominated by consumer health devices and app developers, Lux contends that clinically-focused mobile health devices "will soar past consumer-focused counterparts after a slow start due to regulatory approval barriers and slower integration into physicians’ workflows". The firm predicts that clinical vital signs monitoring devices that leverage mobile technologies will grow from $372 million last year to a $16 billion market come 2023. Meanwhile, consumer health applications will also grow from a $2.5 billion market in 2013 to $7 billion in 2023. 

“Consumer devices have seen a lot of hype but clinical devices will surpass their consumer counterparts in revenues by 2020, helped by value-added software services and generally larger revenue streams,” Nick Kurkjy, Lux Research Associate said in a statement. “Clinical markets will be able to pay much more for comparable services, especially if a device is able to reduce patient recovery times or readmission rates, which can lead to outsized cost savings for the health care provider.”

By 2023, in vitro diagnostic devices and vital sign monitors that leverage mobile technologies will account for 75 percent of the mobile health market by 2013, according to Lux. The firm also points to Covidien's recent acquisition of Zephyr Technologies and Intel's Basis Science acquisition as signals that vertical integration is coming to the mobile health device market.

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly checks out the Microsoft HoloLens aboard a space station on February 20, 2016. The device is part of NASA's project Sidekick, which is exploring the use of augmented reality to reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency with which astronauts can work in space. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)