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28 million home health devices shipped by 2021

Home health monitoring device shipments will top 28 million by 2021, forecasts ABI Research. Home health monitoring devices are evolving to be more mobile and sensitive to the requirements of elderly, disabled, and other vulnerable people who need to feel safe and independent. New devices that work outside the home, as well as connected movement trackers, fall detectors, and medication dispensers, are expanding a market that was once limited to at-home Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS).

The potential for a globally expanding elderly demographic drives market investment, as this tech-aware generation wants to ‘age in place’ rather than go to nursing homes or assisted living facilities, states an ABI press release. According to Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research, the new, discrete home health monitoring devices are great for the elderly and those with limited mobility, as they allow caretakers to keep an eye on the user without being intrusive.

Until recently, this market remained divided between traditional PERS and newer Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) systems. While PERS systems alert authorities for help in an emergency, AAL systems monitor the general activity of the user, providing alerts to caregivers if behavior is unusual. They can also include fall detection, but would typically only inform relatives or care providers, not a central call station.

PERS providers are now increasingly expanding their offerings by adding AAL functionality and including a wider array of connected devices, ranging from medication reminders to smart air quality monitors. In this way they augment the level of care provision into day-to-day management and not just emergency response. The GreatCall acquisition of AAL provider Lively and its integration of the MyLively offerings demonstrates this. With the expanding market potential, though, vendors also face new design demands.

“Vendors need to focus on what a new aging generation expects from these technologies, which are systems that support independence and safety but also deliver attractive and comfortable designs,” concludes Lawrence. “The market will see large disruption over the next few years as devices are made to be simpler, more stylish, and less invasive.”

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