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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : February 01, 2017

Wearables shifting in focus from 'fitness' to 'health'

The days of simply counting steps and logging sleep could soon be a thing of the past with a gradual change in direction towards healthcare devices, according to a new whitepaper from Juniper Research.

by Helen Leggatt

Juniper's new research, 'Health & Fitness Wearables: Business Models, Forecasts & Vendor Share 2017-2021' reveals that a shift in focus from 'fitness' to 'health' will make wearables such as FitBit devices more appealing to consumers.

Integration of such devices with medical databases and a focus on encouraging users to lead 'healthier' lives, rather than getting 'fitter', will move the wearables battleground from consumer hardware to institutional partnerships and software integration.

Those players that can make their devices and system part of healthcare practices will reap the largest rewards, says Juniper.

The overlap between fitness and health wearables has already begun with devices such as FitBit's Blaze extending the range of metrics measured to heart rate and other related metrics such as calorie burn and sleep cycles. The number of health-related wearables showcased at this year's Consumer Electronics Show reveals the huge potential of the market - from weight-loss to 'earables' that measure body temperature and even sleep monitoring mattresses that nudge snorers to turn over.

The global market for wearable devices was around $6.7 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of some 20% by 2018, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Market research company Gartner states that the number of devices sold worldwide in 2016 was around 275 million.

Tags: fitness tracker, healthcare, trends, wearables

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