Fitness bands are on the decline; Health Tech devices are on the rise. That’s the conclusion of a new industry report by Juniper Research. Within the next five years, the combined market for such devices is expected to reach more than $21 billion in annual sales. More than 75 million people in the U.S. will be using some sort of tracking device by 2021, which is about twice today’s number.
The shift comes as more people are less concerned about fitness, and more focused on health issues. This is likely driven by the desire to control healthcare costs, in addition to enjoying a better quality of life. According to the Juniper analysts, device makers are going to be finding ways to integrate their products with the user’s electronic health records (EHRs) and other medical databases. The products will also gain additional sensors and more sophisticated algorithms that can tease additional useful information from the basic data.
One prediction may be a surprise to some; by 2021 at least 25% of the devices will be in a form factor other than a wristband (or smartwatch). And many consumers may welcome the news that prices are expected to fall by nearly 4% per year due to market saturation and reduced component costs. The price reductions are likely to be even higher in developed markets such as the U.S. and Europe.
This report confirms what we’ve been saying for a couple years. The fitness bands appeal to exercise enthusiasts and early adopters, but the market will be driven by applications that will actually save people money. We continue to see evidence that many of these devices will be bought in shipping-container quantities by healthcare services, insurance companies, and major employers. The focus on health-related data is an essential part of the shift from reactive healthcare to preventative, managed care strategies.