2013 was a big year for consumer health technology. According to mobile tech consultancy Research2Guidance, there are now close to 100,000 mobile health apps in 62 app stores, with the top 10 apps generating over 4 million free downloads every day.
This year also saw increased adoption of wearable tech, a market that is expected to grow to 100 million units by the end of 2014.
So if 2013 was the year of wearables and health apps, what’s on tap for next year?
Mashable has made a selection of exciting health tech trends to keep an eye on for the new year.
Data in the Doctor’s Office
According to Pew Research, 21% of Americans already use some form of technology to track their health data, and as the market for wearable devices and health apps grows, so too will the mountain of data about our behaviors and vitals. Next year, we may see more of this data incorporated into our day-to-day medical care as physiological data obtained by quantified-self devices combine with medical knowledge.
A new wave of wearable smart garments will be hitting the stores next year. In fact, market research company Markets and Markets expects sales of smart clothes and fabrics to reach $2.03 billion by 2018.
If you want to fit into the latest smart fashion, you might need to keep better tabs on what you’re eating. We’ve already seen popular apps such as Fooducate make things easy by letting you scan the barcodes on packaged foods to gather nutrition data. In 2014, we’ll see new technologies that take even more of the guesswork out of counting calories and tracking for pesticides, GMOs, allergens etc.
Virtual House Calls
Several online services and a slew of new devices that enable virtual care will bring the doctor to you.
If looking and feeling good isn’t enough of a payoff, how about getting paid for getting healthy?
Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health recently reported that more than two-thirds of companies offer financial incentives to encourage participation in company wellness activities — up from just over half in 2010. In 2014, we’ll see more use of technology to track and reward people for these types of healthy habits.
You can get a more detailed picture of each trend here.
Would you add other trend? Share it with us in the comments!