Wearable devices set to make ubiquitous connectivity a reality

11 August 2015

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that wearable devices will improve healthcare services through real-time, remote patient monitoring and post-surgery rehabilitation.

The fledgling wearable devices market currently caters to a niche customer base. Improvements in devices and newer, interesting use cases will accelerate the transition to mass market proliferation. In addition to popular device manufacturers showcasing their wearable device ventures, an increasing number of industry-specific original equipment manufacturers are entering the market in partnership with technology companies. 

“Wearable devices will extend beyond fitness tracking to include two-way communication between the user and the healthcare ecosystem,” said Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst Shuba Ramkumar. “Though a number of applications currently address the business-to-consumer market, wearable devices will eventually offer support to healthcare institutions by sharing real-time data collected by the consumer.” 

Despite advancements in battery technology, the increasing use of organic light-emitting diode screens, advanced sensors, and the complex functionality on wearable devices will intensify battery power concerns. Along with this, the possibility of inaccurate data generation can affect customer uptake. 

With embedded sensors continuously collecting data and breaking down context barriers by bringing that data into common social and physical spaces, the implementation of strict privacy and security laws is crucial. Data regulation laws require communication between technology vendors, legal institutions, and governments to determine the future of wearable device data. 

“In the long-term, energy harvesting and wireless charging technologies will reduce battery issues, helping wearables to capture the interest of consumers,” noted Ramkumar. “Assuming battery and data accuracy issues are resolved, the real value of wearable devices will accrue as part of the Internet of Things ecosystem, enabling communication of data across devices.” 

In terms of the larger picture, pursuing alternative business models will sustain customer interest in wearable devices. Service-based models and enterprise or vertical market partnerships will be especially effective in pushing wearable technology to the mass market. 

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