Parks Points

Wearables Driving Growth for Connected Health Market

by Chris O’Dell | Oct. 3, 2018

New Parks Associates research shows that 46% of U.S. broadband households own at least one connected health device, up from 41% at the same time last year. This growth has largely been attributed to the increasing market for wearables, as 14% of consumers in broadband households now own a fitness tracker and 12% own a smart watch with the ability to track fitness activities and heart rate.

Growth in wearables adoption is likely to increase with the recent release of the Apple Watch Series 4. As anticipated, the new version comes with a 30% larger screen and also includes louder speakers, a faster dual-core processor, and greater interaction with the Siri digital assistant.

More significant are new functions that turn the watch into a medical device. The new watch comes with a health sensor that lets the user take an electrocardiogram (ECG) that measures the heart's rhythm and detects atrial fibrillation or heart failure and notifies the user of any irregularities. The company has gained clearance for the ECG app from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, claiming this to be a first for smart watches.

The watch is also equipped with sensors that are able to detect when a user falls. If a fall occurs, the user can call for help via the Siri assistant without the need to locate a phone device. If the watch detects that the user has fallen and no movements have occurred for more than a minute, it will automatically send an alert and contact emergency services.

Devices like these will ensure increased adoption of wearables. Parks Associates research shows that 75% of smart watch owners use the device daily, as do 68% of fitness tracker owners. As adoption of wearables increases, penetration of connected health devices is likely to eclipse 50% in the coming years.

For more information on this topic, see Parks Associates’ 360 View: Health and Independent Living.

 Number of Connected Health Devices Owned (2013-2018) | Parks Associates 

Chris O’Dell

Chris O’Dell

Research Analyst

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Connected home, cybersecurity, blockchain, smart home products, insurtech

Chris O’Dell is a member of the connected home team, authoring reports on the privacy and security needs in the home and tracking various smart home product markets. Chris also contributes to Parks Associates custom research work across all connected home markets.

Chris joined Parks Associates following a six-year career in journalism. Chris graduated from Harding University in Searcy, AR, in 2010 with a BA in broadcast journalism and a concentration on print journalism, where he served as the sports editor for The Bison, an award-winning student publication.

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