According to a new forecast from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), consumer technology revenues are expected to hit an all-time high of more than $505 billion, and the health and fitness sector will account for a significant portion of that revenue.
“Telemedicine” [for example] is one of those technology-driven services that is revolutionizing the way we provide healthcare, not just in the United States, not just in Europe, but around the world,” said Steve Koenig, vice president of research at CTA.
Koenig made an opening statement to the media on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The show will be open to the public from January 5-7.
COVID-19 Pandemic Fuels Telemedicine Use
Koenig said CTA statistics show that one in four adults attended a video meeting for medical purposes in the past year. The statistics matched data from the University of Michigan 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 form of care,” Koenig says. For example, electronics company and CES exhibitor Omron has developed a remote patient monitoring system called VitalSight. It connects blood pressure monitors and scales to a clinical electronic patient record.
Koenig noted that therapeutic devices like VitalSight have the potential to help millions of people around the world who are coping with chronic diseases. People can share vital health information in real time or at regular intervals, allowing doctors to keep a close eye on their patients.
Growing Demand for ‘Home Health Hub’ Exercise Equipment
Connected fitness equipment is also becoming popular as part of the ‘home health hub’. CTA statistics showed that sales of connected fitness equipment grew significantly during the pandemic, generating nearly $3.8 billion in revenue in 2021.
By 2022, CTA projects connecting fitness equipment will grow 17 percent and reach nearly $4.5 billion in revenue. CTA says this growth suggests health-conscious consumers will find it practical and convenient to exercise at home, even as gyms and exercise classes reopen.
For example, new immersive rowing machines for the home offer live and on-demand athlete-led workouts.
Tech offers new options in mental health
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 skyrocketed,” he said. “So solutions are emerging to help people live healthier lives, including better mental fitness and stress management.”
For all these reasons, Koenig views health and fitness as “an emerging market opportunity that is rapidly gaining traction.”