At Zimmer and Peacock we are actively supporting wearable biosensor technologies through our contract development and manufacturing services; so that designers, engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs can incorporate biochemical assays into their smart devices, garments and health trackers.
In the button below we have linked to our standard biosensors, these formulations can be moved onto our wearable platform.
Wearable Sensors - Statistics and Facts
Wearables, as the name suggests, are gadgets that can be worn. These devices usually have smart sensors and are connected to the internet for data exchange.
THE HISTORY OF WEARABLES
Pulsar’s Calculator Wristwatch can be considered as the first consumer wearable device to achieve global success. In 2000, the first Bluetooth headset was sold and in 2004, the first GoPro was launched. The wearable market is promising, as the number of connected wearable devices worldwide is expected to jump from an estimate of 325 million in 2016 to over 830 million in 2020.
WHO CURRENTLY USES WEARABLE DEVICES
Businesses, military forces and medical professionals have been using wearable technology for decades, but the private consumer market has recently started to feature items such as smart glasses, smart watches, hearables, fitness and health trackers, smart jewelry and smart clothing. The most successful wearable devices on the market are smart watches and health and fitness tracker. In fact, just over 170 million units of wearable wristwear devices are forecast to be shipped in 2020, more than any other wearable category. By 2018, smart watches are forecast to account for about half of all wearable unit sales worldwide. According to another forecast sales of smart watches are to reach 141 million units by 2018 worldwide. Apple’s operating system - watchOS - is the most used smart wristwear operating system at this time. watchOS is forecast to maintain this position until 2020, when Android/Android Wear is projected to become the most used wristwear OS.
The leading smart watch vendors are Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Garmin and Pebble with Apple holding the largest share of the market. Despite its strong position in the smart watch market, Apple is not as strong of a player in the overall wearable industry. With a strong presence in the health and fitness wearable market, Fitbit has been a leader in the wearable industry since 2014, when the company held about 45 percent of the market share. As other companies such as Apple, Xiaomi, Garmin, and Samsung have also released wearable products, Fitbit’s market share has declined to around 20 percent at the end of 2016. In all of 2016 wearable device shipments amounted to about 112 million units.
WHY IS THIS SO BIG AND WHERE ARE WE GOING?
The above statement only hints at the vast business and technological frontier that awaits the entrepreneurial pioneers that are now developing the smart items that will capture and amplify human civilization. Though it seems hyperbole at ZP we cannot over emphasize the magnitude of the opportunity that wearable sensors and biosensors present. There is something irresistibly and overwhelmingly seductive in the attraction between humans and machines. The Human-Cyber-Machine interface is addictive, and if you are not convinced then you need only look at pedestrians walking on a busy city street, where the majority are actively engaged with their smart phones.
A skeptic may point to static company growth results at FitBit or GoPro and object, but we believe the reason is that it is easy to measure your heart rate, your breathing or you blood pressure. These are all data that any user already intuitively knows and so who needs a watch to tell you that you are breathing fast or that your heart rate is elevated after exercise. The next real step is when these companies can successfully integrate biochemical sensors, such as glucose, hydration, drug levels, stress markers, pregnancy hormones, adrenaline etc., etc. into a wearable monitors. These are data points that are not accessible to the individual, and access to real-time instantaneous results will make a real difference in the behavior of elite athletes, amateur athletes, diabetics, enthusiastic gym goers, the elderly etc.
The border between health trackers and medical diagnostic/tracking devices is blurring and will continue to blur over the next few years. Digital personalized medicine will be the fashion. There is a very simple difference between going to the doctor, giving a blood sample and the laboratory processing and reporting the result to the doctor. And finally, the doctor giving you the results along with an interpretation and a bill, of course. The home glucose monitors allow a patient to take their blood glucose readings at home or wherever, log the data, make an actionable decision and react appropriately by taking insulin, doing nothing or eating some sugar. Eventually, turning the data over to the doctor and get an interpretation and a bill. A great concern in society and 21st century civilization is data ownership, who owns the data? In the case of laboratory results, the doctor owns or controls the data. In the case of the home glucose monitor the patient owns the data. As more and more wearable devices are sold and the sensor capabilities increase, this personal data will be controlled or effectively owned by the user. This is both very powerful and democratic, because the wearable user will/can do quasi-scientific studies on himself and make behavioral decisions, this the essence of the Human-Cyber-Machine interface. As this process continues, the behavior of these individuals, and all of us, will change in unpredictable ways. Just like the smart phone users on the street, people are very likely to become addicted to the experience…’do not try taking these data producing wearables away from people...’
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