Everywhere I look, I see people with smartwatches, fitness bands on their wrists. I don’t get to see the most representative sample of the population, as I work mostly with tech-savvy people. However, an increasing percentage of this non-representative sample is from the older generation. They seem to understand and benefit from the benefits of a wearable.
As I searched for statistics regarding the wearables market my non-representative sample turned out to be a characteristic of the overall older generation. According to a study from eMarketer, US citizens aged 55 and older are now the fastest growing group using wearables, nearly daily. This same study forecasted that in 2019 roughly 8 million older Americans (over 55) would use a wearable device, which shows an increase of more than 15% from 2018.
In the total population, the growth will be slower, with a 9% increase, and this means that 61 million people have and use a wearable device. The smallest group (17%) of the technology savvy people is between the ages of 25 and 34, and the largest (almost a third, with 30%) is older than 45.
What do these numbers mean to doctors and healthcare providers? A powerful, technology-oriented group of people is taking control to their hands by using wearables, portable medical devices or other gadgets to monitor their health. It means they ready to gather data about their health. They willingly use IoHT (Internet Of Healthcare Things) devices to improve the quality of their life.
The Next Big Thing
Healthcare executives have noticed this trend, and they are taking steps to be in this next big thing. According to Accenture’s Internet of Health Things Survey 2017, 77% of the healthcare executive surveyed planned to invest in IoHT. These investment areas are remote patient monitoring, wellness and prevention, and operations.
Internet of Health Things is the integration of physical and digital worlds through objects with network connectivity in the healthcare industry. IoHT transforms raw data into simple, active information and communicates with other object, machines or people. IoHT can be leveraged to improve access to health, quality of care, consumer experience and operational efficiency.
However, data means something if it’s interpreted and transformed in information by qualified healthcare professionals. Doctors, physicians also should embrace this trend, and encourage and spearhead IoHT efforts in their patient base. Data and information empower healthcare professionals to give evidence-based diagnose, to treat patients better and to have superior results overall. Used for preventive purposes or to form a better diagnose IoHT is a part of IT technology that shows tremendous benefits for doctors and patients alike. That’s the next big thing in medicine, that is already happening, and it is already a reality for 61 million people in the USA. Will you be a part of it?
Author: Zoltan Mathe