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article imageExpansion predicted for clinical wearables market

By Tim Sandle     Jun 20, 2016 in Business
One of the big growth areas in the health sector is the clinical wearables market, which saw $499 million invested by venture capitalists last year. For the first quarter of 2016, a further $202 million was invested.
Interviewed by the medical site QMed, Greg Caresi, the senior vice president of transformational health at Frost & Sullivan, saw further growth for digital health. Caresi outlined new innovations relating to fitness trackers, designed for consumers, and with clinical products designed for assessing specific diseases.
Caresi indicated that the most lucrative potential part of the sector will be with more specific and rare clinical diseases. This could be, the analyst predicts, a $210 billion market within the next five years. With these devices NSH (@NS4Histotech) tweeted about innovations with wireless data capture in relation to such devices: "Improvements to Fitness Wearables Help Stream Data from Consumers’ Homes to EHRs and Clinical Pathology Laboratories."
Examples of leading health wearbles, recommended by the website Gadgets and Wearables, are:
The Polar Loop, which alerts people when they have been sitting for too long;
Jawbone UP3 that use sensors to keep track of a person’s physical condition and also suggests a list of low-calorie meals to help someone meet their weight loss goals;
Several devices designed to help avoid “text neck” (cervicalgia), which can arise from too much downward staring at a mobile phone.
This is, however, if certain barriers and problems with the evolving market are overcome. The weakness with the current crop of health and clinical wearables are:
They are over-engineered and unnecessarily complex;
They are not interoperable;
There are security vulnerabilities;
They can produce unreliable and inaccurate data;
They do not always create value for different healthcare stakeholders, including patients, providers, hospitals, and funders.
Meanwhile, at June 2016’s Medical Design & Manufacturing East conference, medical company 3M outlined a new range of transdermal patches. This range of drug releasing products that have improved occlusivity (that is ‘coverability’), patient comfort, and cosmetic appearance. The products can be used with a variety of different slow-release medications, designed to give a controlled dose to the patient. The new patches have two brands: Scotchpak and CoTran. These patches are constructed from rigid polyester, with either polyethylene backings or more stretchy polyurethane backings to meet various patient needs. The appearance ranges from translucent to opaque.
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