New technologies such as wearable fitness bracelets, remote monitoring devices, and sensors measuring sleep patterns and heart rate are expected to have a bigger presence this week at the annual International CES, the global consumer technology tradeshow being held in Las Vegas.
Electronics show will see jump in digital health exhibits
More than 300 digital health and medical technology companies are expected to exhibit. There is growing interest from patients, venture capitalists and healthcare providers in digital health technology. The Consumer Electronics Association, which hosts the show, said the number of digital health exhibits is up 40% compared with last year.
“This is going to be the influx year that wearable technologies for health and wellness become mainstream,” says David Sovie, managing director with Accenture's communications, media and technology group.
Certain provisions of the healthcare reform law are driving some of this growth as hospitals and physicians seek to reduce readmission rates and patient visits to the hospital. A more engaged patient population also is boosting interest in digital health technologies. Some of these technologies require clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, but many do not and are sold directly to consumers.
Rock Health, an incubator for digital health startups, recently reported that funding for digital health ventures rose 39% to $1.9 billion in 2013, with growth far outpacing funding for traditional healthcare categories such as medical devices, biotechnology firms and healthcare software.
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