Market for wearable wireless sensors: more than 400 million devices by 2014

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A new (expensive) ABI Research study Wearable Wireless Sensors examines the factors fuelling demand for wearable wireless sensors as well as the short range wireless technologies that may be used by them. It also identifies the key players in the market, describes the regulatory and industry environment, and assesses the dynamics of patient care that will affect market development to come up with its grand prediction of 400 million devices by 2014.

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  1. Donna Cusano

    ABI Research Study

    Link to the eWeek article is here with more information: Specifically for senior and ‘at risk people’, they are projecting 15 million by early 2012, primarily using embedded cellular connectivity. The 15 million will mainly be in North America despite the fact that they are largely not covered by insurance plans. The focus of the report seems to be telehealth/vital signs and peripherally on telecare (behavioral).

    For this American observer, the movement to mobile/cellular platforms is the most notable, as many of the in use systems, particularly in telecare, are stand alone and are not designed to be open ended. I’m seeing a change in those products/systems (-care and -health) developed by smaller, nimble companies, but suspect that UK/EU is ahead on this. (See reference to Tunstall RTX3371.)

    But are we busily building a bridge to nowhere? Challenges:

    • interoperability
    • funding for the small companies that are bringing these technologies forward (the giants are not doing the job–woe betide technologies that are acquired by same)
    • keeping them simple and inviting for seniors to use (not the seniors of 2030, but now!)

    Most of all, this growth banks on professionals seeing and actively using the data on reporting platforms that are integrated and easy to use. Huge challenges/questions here:

    • Uncertainty of EMRs (another huge interoperability question)
    • The shape of healthcare in the US in the next few years–a huge political question that is freezing much in private pay development
    • Overworked and underpaid healthcare professionals do not want to do any more uncompensated work and record keeping
    • Acceptability by home care managers and workers, who need this information most, but in the real world in current technology, have a distinct aversion to accepting and using technology assistance beyond the simplest.

    And socially–will we isolate at-home seniors even more?