Smartwatches and other wearables will be a must-have for personalised healthcare, but a privacy backlash could put an end to all that.
As wearable devices like smartwatches become more popular with consumers, and remote monitoring of patients using these devices becomes a standard part of healthcare in the next few years, we will have to answer some big questions around privacy and security.
Around $20bn a year will be spent on wearable devices, health trackers and remote patient-monitoring devices within five years, according to tech research company Juniper Research. Once you add in assistive hearables, or connected hearing aids made available by healthcare providers as well as directly to customers, the sector is expected to generate revenues of over $40bn by 2022.
The tech industry is relying on wearables to grow fast in the next few years. Tech companies made somewhere around 125 million smartwatches and other wearables last year — up 8.5 percent from 2017, according to calculations by tech analyst IDC, which predicts that around 190 million wearable devices will be sold in 2022, which means growth of about 13 percent a year, with smartwatches accounting for over half of all sales. The growth in wearables might seem modest but is far faster than PCs or smartphones, both of which are likely to struggle with weak growth over the next few years.