Individuals are shining through the masses. The social nature of technology allows people to showcase themselves in a uniquely direct and transparent way. The number of Internet users is approaching 3 billion, with 78 percent in developed countries and 33 percent in developing nations. With this technological shift in our personal lives, so follow the trends of consumerism. Brands across all industries are latching on to our growing ability to track and manage virtually every aspect of our lives through technology.
Healthcare is no exception. These trends in Internet usage and technological advances are creating new opportunities for mHealth, virtual care, personalized prevention, patient self-management, and wireless wearables. Connected health allows us to seamlessly access the trove of data that is our bodies, and to incorporate this wealth of knowledge into how we’re providing and receiving healthcare. Today’s healthcare is becoming more personalized, autonomous, and remote. As the connected health trend continues to flourish, the underlying structure of our healthcare systems will transform.
The Internet of Things
The phenomenon of our everyday lives “going digital” has been coined as “The Internet of Things.” Generally speaking, the Internet of Things describes the interconnection of embedded computing devices that connect the tangible world to the World Wide Web. Connected health fits smoothly into this equation, with a plethora of tools and systems developed to help us keep track of our health and well-being with digital ease.
mHealth and Quantified Self
The end of 2014 predicts 7 billion mobile subscriptions – that equates to more cell phone lines than humans in the world! This mobile revolution opens the door for mHealth to play a critical role in the adoption of connected health by the everyday consumer. As Dr. Kvedar, Director of the Center for Connect Health, questions so frequently, “how can we make mhealth as addictive as the mobile device itself?” From heart rate apps to sleep trackers to neurofeedback to chronic condition monitors, our smartphones act as a gateway to the connected health realm.
Alongside mHealth, industries like telemedicine and wearables are gaining traction. In fact, the wireless wearables market is projected to grow to around 112 million units by 2018. Widespread innovations like Nike’s Fuelband allow users to track everyday activity and overall fitness levels. Niche innovations help with chronic conditions, like Google X’s smart contact lens that’s poised to monitor glucose levels from the tears of diabetic patients. Yeah, that’s right.
Healthcare Marketing Now
“Tapping into” our health has become quite literal: just a few taps on our iPhone or Droid and we can access a quantifiable database of how our bodies and minds function and behave, as well as tools to monitor and maintain our health. Healthcare brands are jumping at the golden opportunity to reach out to consumers in their natural habitat, opening the conversation for how we can become involved in their health, and how we can continue and grow along this path. These connected health trends are propelling the start-up ecosystem in healthcare and accelerating innovation. It's an exciting time to be in healthcare.
How can Legacy-DNA Help?
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