The Future of Wearables Is in Health and Clothing

April 5, 2018 - 3 minutes read

MedTech app developer

The wearables market has historically had a tough time breaking into anything but fitness and health through MedTech applications. But research shows that wearable technology is forecasted to explode in the next 10 years. By 2027, the market is set to reach a value of $150 billion.

Leveraging All of Data’s Advantages

Before wearables can truly take off though, the technology has a major discrepancy in need of addressing: research from PwC shows that not enough data from wearables is being shared with the users and analyzed, severely limiting the potential and usefulness of the devices. Bodylogical is PwC’s answer: it’s a scientifically-validated model that takes data from wearables and doctor visits and creates a “digital twin” that provides health insights.

A team of biomedical engineers, scientists, health industry experts, and mathematicians created Bodylogical; they hope it can help change patients’ behavior. Consumers are already looking forward to healthier diets, smarter exercising, and better access to healthcare options as a result of wearable technology advancement. Bodylogical hopes to fill this gap.

Alana McMahon, an executive in PwC’s health consulting department, says, “By utilizing technology to generate data and, in turn, using predictive analytics and forecasting tools to generate insights, entire populations can be encouraged to take more responsibility of their health.”

When the technology advances, the consumer wins.

Innovation Is in Fashion

Besides not leveraging data enough, researchers have also found that the wearables market landscape is shifting. Juniper is a technology research consulting firm located an hour outside of London. The company found that wearables are shifting from wrist-based trackers to connected clothing and smart glasses and jewelry.

These technologies are more integrated into daily life, and Juniper expects sales increases by 2020 to 350 million devices. 137 million of those 350 million are forecasted to ship in 2018. That leaves about 200 million devices for 2019 and 2020, meaning growth will eventually slow down after a big boom since devices last longer and come equipped with great features from the get-go.

Connected clothing should have a smaller lifespan and better growth rates year-over-year. Conductive fabric technology is advancing and companies like Under Armor, Sensoria, and Lumo are already experimenting with it. Connected clothing will sell 7 million items to consumers by 2020, but that number will explode to 30 million by 2022.

The Importance of Insight

As with most data-producing industries, data scientists and analysts will be called on by wearables companies to create dashboards for consumers, innovate on insights and analytics, and better understand the data’s interconnections.

Juniper analyst James Moar says, “A key challenge for wearables is to provide a concrete benefit or unique data. All our top growth segments either provide in-depth data from specialized form factors, or benefits that do not involve data at all.”

It will be fun to see how innovations from startups and big fitness brands like Nike and Under Armor define the landscape of wearables over the next five to ten years.

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