Health and fitness wearable devices - additional information
In the U.S., 8 in 10 adults have at least heard of wearables and nearly 1 in 5 plans to buy one in the near future, whether a smart watch, a health device, a fitness tracker or a pair of smart glasses. As of 2013, the worldwide wearables market was expected to grow steadily up to some 12.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Projections show health and fitness devices sales alone to double in 2015 compared to the previous year.
While smart watches can feature a vast array of functions, from GPS navigation to video-calling, as well as body-functions tracking, medical and fitness wearables tend to focus only on the latter aspect. These devices use technology to monitor and analyze data from a person’s daily life, like heart rate, calorie intake, blood pressure and even cerebral activity. This information is then used in order to signal anomalies, to create lifestyle and health patterns or to provide a detailed medical history. The recipients of the data can be the wearer or a third-party, such as medical professionals or relatives. Among other things, such devices can be used to monitor baby movements, independently living elders, as well as sufferers of certain health conditions.
Amongst the major companies on the wearable fitness market are Fitbit, Jawbone and Nike, but other sportswear giants are expected to soon follow suit. In the medical field, biomedical startups, such as Ybrain, which makes wearables for Alzheimer’s patients, or Soterix Medical, a specialist in non-invasive neuromodulation and brain stimulation technology are competing for market share with their products. Statistics show that in 2013, 15 million people were already using health and fitness wearables and the number of users was expected to increase to almost 100 million by 2018.