Telemedicine Consultations and Wearable Tech Sales to Escalate in 2015
The number of doctor-patient video consultations in the United States will almost triple over the next year, according to research from Parks Associates. The firm expects the number of patients contacting a physician remotely by video to triple from 5.7 million in 2014 to more than 16 million next year.
“The connected health markets are experiencing tremendous growth both in end-user connected devices and on the institutional side,” said Harry Wang, director of Health & Mobile Product Research in an issued release.
According to Parks, approximately 42 percent of households in the U.S. with broadband services had used at least one online service offered to them by their physicians. The most common use being online prescription refills.
Nearly 30 percent of said households also owned and used at least one connected health device.
The number of connected digital trackers sold worldwide will also double again in 2014 and top 22 million, according to Parks. The number sold in 2012 was 6.6 million and 13.6 million last year.
“Connected trackers will account for 52 percent of all digital fitness tracker unit sales in 2014 and reach 81 percent by 2018 (66 million units),” Wang said in a statement. “Smart watches are another wearables category poised for tremendous growth, with sales of almost 18 million units worldwide in 2014 and 121 million in 2018. These connected devices open new avenues for new fitness apps, health solutions and data analytics.”
Based on a survey of 10,000 households in the U.S. with broadband services during the first quarter of 2014, Parks predicted that only 2 percent of such households had bought a smart watch in 2013 and another 4 percent are likely to buy one over the course of the next 12 months.
Within that group of buyers, 20 percent bought their smart watch directly from the maker, 18 percent from Amazon and 17 percent from Best Buy. Almost half had received a smart watch as a gift.