The Evolution of Consumer Wearables

Telehealth as a Driver of Change

Historically, wearables have been reserved for patients looking to track serious chronic diseases. One of the main use cases for these wearables is remote patient monitoring (“RPM”) providing healthcare services to individuals from the comfort of their own homes. Healthcare has been no exception to the trend of improving the quality of services at home. Just as individuals have become accustomed to receiving their groceries delivered to them, patients are increasingly demanding their health-related insights.

According to a report by eMarketer, the number of RPM users in the US will more than double between 2020 and 2025 to 70.6 million. This doubling is due, in large part, to the 35% plus year-over-year increase in 2020 and 2021. The accelerated growth of the practice has necessitated improved hardware and new use cases for the technology.

From Patients to Consumers

This trend has also trickled into the consumer markets. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research center, in 2020 one in five Americans wore some form of fitness tracker. From heart rate monitors to continuous glucose monitors to smart headphones, consumers have and continue to invest in their health through data collection.

According to data from Pitchbook, 2021 saw the highest amount of investment on record for “Wearables & the Quantified Self” with nearly $9 billion in funding. Furthermore, global smartwatch shipments are expected to nearly double by 2025 from 142 million units shipped to 253 million worldwide.

While consumers have demonstrated demand for products that provide context across a variety of biomarkers (ranging from blood glucose levels to brain wave monitoring) there are concerns about some of the world’s largest tech companies controlling individual’s health data. New entrants into the market such as Whoop, Oura, Levels, and others could have an advantage when it comes to consumer trust. As companies vie for market share, considerations around data and monetization of that data will be crucial.

In this week’s Scouting Report, we break down the rapid evolution of the wearables market and some of the key drivers in that evolution.

Check out the full Scouting Report here.

ICYMI: Last month, we published a new Heat Check on the Nielsen Fan Report. You can access that report and our other of research at Insights HQ.