The year’s biggest electronics show is taking place this week in Vegas. Annually, the Consumer Electronics Show showcases devices and services that bring us one step closer to the real-life Jetsons. Sony unveiled a cloud-based television service. There was a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush that “senses how long and how well you brush, and it lets you track your performance on your phone.” And, even more exciting than having both bowers in a game of Euchre, was the announcement that World Wrestling Entertainment was launching its own streaming TV network. How could you top that?
As it turns out, wearable devices are actually the hot topic at CES. Multiple news stories and blogs report that fitness- and health-inspired devices are dominating the press room and exhibit floor. As CNBC reports, mega tech companies like LG and Sony are jumping into the game with FitBit-like products.
To date, the vast majority of gadgets focus on the health and wellness sector, but you can be sure that the medical field is next. As CNET reports, new wearable medical devices like an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, wireless ECG and wearable pulse oximeter are on display at CES. The growth of wearable health devices is part of the larger mHealth phenomenon. Exactly how big the mHealth market is and can get is hard to say. Various estimates put it between $23 billion and $26 billion by 2017.
Beyond the “wow” and “cool” factors though, what does it all mean? What are the business and strategic implications for hospitals and health systems? Those are questions I put to Eric Topol, M.D., one of the nation’s biggest proponents of mobile tech, last summer, and that we’ll be exploring in much greater detail this year in our Connecting the Continuum series. Last year, the series delved into various ways in which disparate parts of the delivery system are beginning to connect electronically in the hope of delivering better care. This year, we’ll dig deep into the impact mHealth is having on the field.
We’ll have monthly articles in the print edition of H&HN, as well as ongoing commentary in H&HN Daily. And who knows? We may have a few exciting guest bloggers along the way. As always, we welcome your thoughts. Comment: Twitter