Table of Contents
Frost & Sullivan presents selected highlights and insights from the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas in January 2015. The following report provides a look at some interesting developments seen at CES around products targeting the new digital healthcare consumer as well as our take on how the digital health market is expected to evolve.
- Consumers will be increasingly flooded with technology as they build data ecosystems around themselves and their home, yet the end goal will be to integrate devices, services and experience into a cohesive one, including to best serve healthcare and wellness goals.
- More and more “devices” will become smart enabled, yet the need to understand specific segments of consumers and their needs will continue to provide vendors with diversification opportunities. The quanitifed-selfer will not be the endpoint for connected health; it is just the beginning in better levels of adoption.
- The smartphone will be the core form factor for user experience, yet there will be opportunity for other consumer devices, including the smart-TV as part of device and information integration. Optimal user experience includes ease of movement between form factors, or to best meet demographic desires of critical user groups for connected health, such as seniors.
- Direct-to-Consumer (B2C) business models will grow in importance in telehealth including for consumer-paid models for management of aspects of chronic diseases. This will change options for health plans for everyone, and consumer awareness of access to physicians 24/7.
- Expect Wearables to be a key focus for 2015, but higher discussion on potential health value of the smart watch in the mix of trackers, given launch of Apple’s Watch.
SELECT HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CES DIGITAL HEALTH SUMMIT
Over the last several years, International CES has become a growing center of activity related to the digital health space and trends in consumer centric healthcare. The Digital Health Summit is a special health-related event that takes place at CES. This is essentially a show within a show, specifically designed to focus on the rapidly growing and highly dynamic digital healthcare marketplace and the numerous vendors looking to sell a wide products such as fitness/wellness trackers (wearables), mobile health apps, telemedicine services, remote patient monitoring (RPM) including personal emergency response systems (PERS), and more. Clearly, vendors of all types and sizes are looking to capitalize on emerging opportunities across digital health. At practically every health-related conference we attend, we have noted that the wearables sector is generating the most amount of hype in the digital space. CES is no different. We will address aspects of the wearables market later on in this report.
While the CES expo is filled with interesting start-ups, particularly in the wearables market, it also showcases product launches from large companies not particularly noted for their presence in healthcare like Epson—perhaps somewhat unexpected by us. Other points of interest related to market players include changes in who was not at the expo this year. For example, we noted the absence of UnitedHealthGroup, a company which previously had a significant presence at the show. Perhaps this payer, like basically everyone else, is still trying to find an optimal strategy and foothold in digital health.
We were interested to note an announcement from Qualcomm Life and Novartis. The two companies have formed a new partnership as part of Novartis’ Trials of the Future program that is designed to leverage Qualcomm’s 2net Platform to manage medical device data collection and aggregation during clinical trials for patients. The Novartis Qualcomm partnership is an example of how Big Pharma continues its attempts to make strides in the digital health space in an effort to move beyond its traditional business focus, looking for new ways to optimize aspects of established core competencies in areas like clinical trials. Another example of this trend took place after CES 2014 when there were further announcements from Qualcomm and Big Pharma with Novartis (a new digital health investment company between Novartis and Qualcomm Ventures) and Roche (leveraging Qualcomm’s 2net with Roche’s point-of-care diagnostics).
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