The WellTech market is exploding with a wide range of fitness and health devices, and the pipeline is crammed full of new and exciting projects that will come to market in the years to come. But why is this happening now? Why didn’t this explosion start years ago? People have been concerned about health and fitness for decades and have been willing to spend billions of dollars in the process, so what has changed? According to analysts, we can thank three major factors.
First and foremost is the ascension of the smartphone. According to Comscore, 69% of the people in the U.S. now own smartphones. This is important because it can serve as an intermediary for WellTech devices, providing data storage, processing power, a display and other feedback signals, and a connection to the Internet so that the data can by uploaded to the cloud.
The second driving factors is the rapidly dropping cost of enabling components. For example, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers measure motion of portable devices. They are included in smartphones, which has driven the price down due to high volume production and competition. The component that cost $2.00 in 2008 dropped to just $0.50 per piece by 2013, according to a presentation by Rock Health. As these component cost drop, new products and applications become economically feasible.
The third factor is the advent of Bluetooth Low Energy technology. The Bluetooth standard has helped make communications between devices inexpensive and reliable. As pointed out in a white paper by IHS, the Low Energy version is ideal for connecting sensors to smart devices to gather data from WellTech products.
Other factors certainly come into play, but these three are the main engines that have helped make this new revolution possible.