CES 2024 is less than four months away, and in advance of the world’s largest and most influential consumer technology showcase, Future Healthcare Today is exploring some of the top trends and stories that are shaping the consumer electronics industry.
Of all consumer technology sectors and markets, few have as explosive potential for growth as the digital health solution marketplace. These technologies saw a massive increase in adoption from the COVID-19 pandemic, which raised important questions about access to healthcare, and made people around the globe more invested in their own health and wellness. However, despite the rapid adoption over the past half of a decade, the digital health solution market segment is still relatively nascent, with considerable room and opportunity to grow.
These emerging digital health solutions have the ability to give consumers control of their own health and wellness. This is a massive change for many consumers that are accustomed to a healthcare industry that mainly functions to treat illness when it happens and restricts access to care to those with health insurance, referrals, or geographic proximity to providers.
With seven out of ten consumers saying they’re likely to adopt digital health solutions, organizers anticipate a massive increase in interest and demand for these solutions at CES…
It’s no surprise, then, that research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) found that 70 percent of consumers say they will likely use one or more digital health solutions in the future to improve their overall health or well-being. It’s also not shocking that the use of telehealth among providers skyrocketed from 14 percent in 2016, to more than 80 percent in 2022, according to Healthcare IT News.
With seven out of ten consumers saying they’re likely to adopt digital health solutions, organizers anticipate a massive increase in interest and demand for these solutions at CES, the world’s preeminent consumer electronic showcase hosted annually by the CTA.
This year’s event – which will take place in early January in Las Vegas – is the perfect venue to see some of the innovative digital health solutions entering the marketplace, and an incredible opportunity for solution providers to demonstrate exciting new digital healthcare capabilities. This is why healthcare technology companies such as Nuheara, CareWear Corp, Wearable Therapeutics, and Essence SmartCare attend CES.
But what overarching digital health trends will be on display at this year’s show? And what are consumers looking for when analyzing and weighing investments in new digital health products and solutions? The CTA recently released a study entitled, Driving Consumer Adoption of Digital Health Solutions, that could enlighten health tech companies. Here are three factors that will impact digital health solutions at this year’s CES:
Taking control and becoming proactive
As we discussed, healthcare in much of the world for much of the past few decades has revolved around treating illness when consumers have symptoms of disease. Rarely have consumers had access to their own vitals and detailed information about their own health and wellness – often having to wait until they don’t feel well and get sent by a doctor for a litany of expensive tests.
The COVID pandemic and emerging digital healthcare technologies have put a stop to that. People around the world are actively looking to take control of their health and become more proactive in their own wellness – trying to actively stave off disease and chronic illness with changes in behavior or routine.
Moving forward, consumers are looking for these solutions to add increased functionality and capabilities, make health information more easily accessible, and increase the reliability of data
This has led to increased demand for Fitbits, smartwatches, and other wearable solutions that consumers can regularly use to monitor their overall health. According to the CTA’s research, 73 percent of consumers report that these solutions help them feel more in control of their health, and encourage them to take better care of themselves. Additionally, 71 percent claimed that these solutions have raised their quality of life.
Moving forward, consumers are looking for these solutions to add increased functionality and capabilities, make health information more easily accessible, and increase the reliability of data. Anticipate that the solutions being exhibited at this year’s CES will deliver on many of these consumer requirements.
Increasing access for all
According to CTA research, 59 percent of people have utilized telehealth appointments even with the pandemic in the rearview mirror. And there is a very good reason why telehealth offerings are so popular.
Within the U.S., in particular, there is limited access to healthcare among underserved populations. About 112 million people – approximately 40 percent of American adults – struggle to pay for healthcare. And, due to shortages in specialists and other healthcare professionals, and most healthcare providers concentrated around metropolitan areas, approximately live more than ten miles away from their nearest hospital. 18 percent of Americans live more than ten miles away from their nearest hospital.
It is imperative that underserved Americans can receive the healthcare they need.
Digital health solutions – such as telehealth services – can help to overcome this challenge by offering a way to get health care without the need to go to an office or hospital building. This means more Americans can access quality healthcare and specialist care – including mental health services and addiction services – without ever leaving their homes.
This change in how we access healthcare services was the focus of a session during CES 2023 entitled, The Future of Care in America: A New Hybrid Model. In this session, visionaries from across the healthcare and healthcare technology industries explored ways in which technology is enabling a new model for patient care. You can watch that session in full in the video below:
Considering the historic challenges that Americans have faced in receiving and accessing care, it’s no surprise that telehealth services and other digital health services remain in demand – and why they’ll be featured prominently at the upcoming CES 2024.
Bringing it all together
Anyone who has experienced the American healthcare system in the previous few decades understands how disjointed and disconnected it can be. A primary care doctor may refer a patient to a specialist, only to find that the results of previously conducted tests aren’t available to them – requiring new tests to be run at the patient’s expense. Or, a patient may find themselves answering the same questions repeatedly each and every time they see a different doctor or specialist.
The integration and sharing of healthcare data can open the door to incredible futuristic and beneficial capabilities.
This lack of connectivity and interoperability has made healthcare incredibly expensive and less effective. And for digital health solutions and services to truly reach their potential, information needs to be securely shared, and every system and source of healthcare data needs to interoperate.
The integration and sharing of healthcare data can open the door to incredible futuristic and beneficial capabilities. Doctors will be able to securely and remotely access and review the vital signs of a patient from the wearable that’s monitoring them. AI will be able to analyze all available healthcare data and patient histories to identify illnesses and effective treatments in seconds rather than days or weeks.
But these capabilities are only possible if everything is integrated and interoperated. And this is why integration and interoperability will be two incredibly in-demand capabilities for digital health devices and services at CES 2024.
CES is the home for digital health innovation that draws the most innovative companies that are breaking new ground in modern healthcare. Find out what’s new as this field evolves, and what’s next at CES 2024.