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Consumer technology revenue is projected to reach an all-time high of more than $505 billion, according to a new forecast released by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), and the healthcare and fitness sector will account for a significant portion of those earnings.
“Telemedicine [for example] is one of those tech-powered services that is revolutionizing how we deliver healthcare not just in the United States, not just in Europe, but around the world,” said Steve Koenig, the vice president of research at CTA.
Koenig delivered opening remarks to the media on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The show opens to the public January 5–7.
COVID-19 Pandemic Fuels Telemedicine Use
Koenig said CTA stats show that one in four adults attended a video meeting call in the past year for medical purposes. The statistics matched University of Michigan data showing that one in four older Americans had a virtual medical visit in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Remote patient monitoring is starting to gain a lot more momentum and really change the shape of care,” said Koenig. The electronics company and CES exhibitor Omron, for example, has created a remote patient monitoring system called VitalSight. It connects blood pressure monitors and weight scales to a clinical electronic health record.
Koenig noted that therapeutic devices like VitalSight have the potential to help millions of people around the world who are managing chronic disease. People can share vital health information in real time or at regular intervals so doctors can keep close tabs on their patients.
Growing Demand for ‘Home Health Hub’ Exercise Equipment
Connected exercise equipment is also becoming popular as part of the “home health hub.” CTA statistics found that sales of connected exercise equipment grew significantly through the pandemic, generating nearly $3.8 billion in revenue in 2021.
In 2022, CTA projects that connected exercise equipment will experience 17 percent growth and reach nearly $4.5 billion in revenues. CTA says this growth suggests that health-conscious consumers are finding it practical and convenient to exercise at home, even as gyms and workout classes reopen.
New immersive at-home rowing machines, for example, offer live and on-demand athlete-led workouts.
Tech Offers New Options in Mental Health Care
New technologies are also expanding care options for people seeking mental health support, Koenig said, including online counseling and therapy platforms or mindfulness and meditation apps.
“Depression diagnoses have been skyrocketing,” he said. “So solutions are coming forward to help people lead healthier lives, including better mental fitness and stress management.”
For all these reasons, Koenig views health and fitness as “an emerging market opportunity that’s rapidly gaining momentum.”