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Personal health will look completely different by 2020

16 Mar 16

In just a few year’s time, health monitoring devices will be commonplace around the world, according to a new study from Juniper Research.

In fact, Juniper estimates the adoption of health monitoring devices will nearly treble by 2020, exceeding 70 million worldwide, up from an estimated 26 million this year.

The new research, Worldwide Digital Health: Developed and Emerging Market Opportunities 2016-2020, forecasts that the use of these devices is set to witness a swift rise as new entrants gain FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approval in the US.

According to Juniper, this also highlights the need for new entrants to prove that their hardware is able to measure health indicators with the same accuracy as standard medical devices.

Paving the way for connected personal health

The research argues that greater consumer affinity with connected monitoring devices will in turn be accompanied by an upsurge in the adoption of mobile and cloud health platforms such as Apple Health and Google Fit.

Furthermore, it claims that the ‘big data’ collected by such monitoring devices presents a significant medium term opportunity for platforms such as IBM Watson Health Cloud. These already offer greater insight into health information and enable more efficient decision making through data analytics, Juniper says.

The future of genomics

The research also argued that with companies, such as Illumina, now mapping a large number of individuals’ genomes, healthcare providers will increasingly have access to unique sets of genomic information.

This will offer the potential for healthcare providers to offer personalised plans based on that individual’s genetic traits and susceptibility to diseases such as cancer, including treatments which have previously achieved positive results when delivered to patients with similar genomes.

Other findings from the research include:

Heightened accuracy from the latest iteration of monitoring devices will lead to a fourfold increase in the number of individuals being monitored by 2020. Interoperability with personal smartphone devices will add further value for the patient.

While the number of individuals using mHealth information services is expected to increase from 60 million this year to 150 million by 2020, growth is constrained by the lack of viable business models underpinning the operations in many developing markets, Juniper says.

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