Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mobile technologies motivate growth in digital health

U.S. revenues from digital health technology-enabled solutions and services will exceed $5.7 billion in 2015, fueled by chronic-care monitoring solutions, senior aging-in-place services, and connected wellness and fitness apps and programs, a new industry report from Parks Associates forecasts.

According to Delivering Quality Care to the Digital Home: 2010 Update, industry revenues in 2010 hit $1.7 billion, and the projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the next five years will be 27%. Mobile broadband will be a key growth driver as many emerging health devices and services rely on high-speed connectivity to track vital signs or enable interactive features.

The digital health industry has many subsectors, and near-term growth will be uneven across these segments. Adoption of chronic-care monitoring will grow slowly, and medication management and senior fall-detection programs will expand at above-average rates. The real engines of growth in this industry will be mobile care solutions and tracking applications.

For example, CES 2011 featured the "Fitness TechZone," which showcased digital innovations such as mobile apps designed to promote healthy living. In 2010, Philips, already a large player in the home health industry, introduced its consumer-focused DirectLife service, which includes an Activity Monitor that tracks a user's physical activity and helps with fitness and wellness management.

Parks Associates is optimistic about the future of digital health industry but notes that the political impasse over the new healthcare law could delay investment in new healthcare technologies and create funding challenges for new business models. “To move forward, this industry needs smart entrepreneurs and visionary industry leaders and a regulatory and reimbursement system amenable to innovative, effective, and cost-saving technology advances.”

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