Fledgling wearables industry shows gap between fitness apps, medical devices

Sunday, 30 July 2017, 05:39:57 PM. Wearable technologies such as smart watches that offer fitness information at a glance are part of a growing industry, but health technology experts say innovators should focus on where the need is greatest.
Wearable technologies such as smart watches that offer fitness information at a glance are part of a growing industry, but health technology experts say innovators should focus on where the need is greatest. Activity monitors such as FitBit and Jawbone Up range in price from $50 to $200 and are marketed to those interested in getting more physically fit. The global market for wearable medical devices, from heart rate and pulse monitors to glucose management, was valued at $2 billion U.S. in 2012 and is expected to reach $5.8 billion in 2019, Transparency Market Research estimates. "One challenge is what some people call the top drawer syndrome," said Jayson Parker, a medical biotechnology analyst at University of Toronto Mississauga. "You buy the health technology, you use it for a while, and then it ends up in your top drawer, never to be retrieved again." Fitness wearables offer great insights into activity levels, but the market for those devices is already crowded, said engineer Joseph Cafazzo, who leads the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at Toronto’s University Health Network. Cafazzo says it is early days for the industry. He sees potential in apps to combine different types of data to help people who have chronic illnesses. Ear-O-Smart earrings track heart rate, calories, activity Google contact lens could help diabetics track glucose "What we're trying to do is combine the things that you should be doing to manage with your diabetes with your markers. What...Read more
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