5 Technologies Cutting through mHealth Hype

September 8, 2014

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5 Technologies Cutting through mHealth Hype

“I do wonder about wearables,” said Genentech’s CEO Ian Clark at the Health Innovation Summit held recently in San Francisco. “I think it’s all a bit trivial right now,” Clark was quoted as saying in the SF Gate.

While wearable technology has tremendous potential, the appeal of the technology thus far has been limited. The only mHealth product that has yet to go mainstream is the fitness tracker—a product whose popularity is limited to a fairly narrow demographic band. Half of the users of fitness bands are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to Nielsen Co. One third of those users live in households with annual income exceeding $100,000.

Five recent news stories, however, suggests that more productive uses for mobile health could be on the way, potentially opening up the technology’s user base in the long term.

They can’t come too soon, either. While public interest remains high for wearables—and mobile health (mHealth) technology at large—the amount of skepticism leveled at it is also growing. In the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies from the Gartner (Stamford, CT) research firm, mHealth technology appears to have crested the so-called “peak of inflated expectations” (see the image in the top left for reference). While mHealth is now nearing the bottom of the “trough of disillusionment,” wearable technology is just beginning its descent towards that trough, according to Gartner.

Clear the hype away from a technology, and there’s a chance for actual enlightened, productive uses. What might such uses look like in the case of wearables and mobile health in general? Read on to find out more:

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