Devices that gather and transmit health data from the human body periodically but are not attached continuously, such as Bluetooth enabled pulse ox meters or Wi-Fi-enabled scales. The use of Iota technology to monitor and manage human health and fitness is expanding rapidly.
Analysts estimate that 130 million consumers worldwide use fitness trackers today.12 With the rise of smart watches and other wearable devices, the number of connected fitness monitors is expected to exceed 1.3 billion units in 2025.13 The basic technology for fitness monitoring devices—sensors and low-power chips—is well established, and prices are expected to decline as volumes rise. We also expect rapid growth in devices and systems for in-home monitoring of patients, particularly those with chronic conditions such as diabetes.
These devices, which may be worn or only used intermittently, have already demonstrated potential to improve health outcomes and reduce health-care costs among patients with acute forms of chronic heart failure, diabetes, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). In developing economies, home health monitors may be prohibitively expensive, but such devices can be used to evaluate patients remotely at rural health clinics.
The basic technology is available, though adoption has been limited by high cost and limited efficacy for non-acute patients. As technology evolves, costs will continue to fall, enabling broader adoption and use by a wider range of patients. Also, as the technology evolves, monitors become portable, and more frequent readings are taken, further benefits are likely to emerge. In addition to wearable’s and home health monitors, Iota devices for human health include implantable, ingestible, and injectable, such as nabobs that can clear arteries or help detect early-stage cancer.
These devices have not yet reached the clinical trial stage, and we do not attempt to size their potential impact in 2025. However, when they are ready for widespread adoption, their impact could be as large as or larger than the benefits of the other technologies we discuss here.
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