The first wave of healthcare/medical has come in the form of “fitness/activity monitoring” which is being catered to by mostly low-cost, low-performance 3DoF accelerometers. These devices though in their Version 1.0 form have pioneered a new consumer electronics market category and have led to growing volumes reaching the low millions of units. Though the rise of this activity monitoring technology is directly related to helping to improve a person’s health, its only the beginning. More advanced applications in this category will require at least a 6DOF sensor solution with much better performance and, of course, at a low cost in order to make it more widely available to the public at large.
MEMS motion sensor enabled diagnostic tools will become commonplace and continuous patient monitoring will become the norm, leading to another new category of products and software-based services. The use of such technology will greatly reduce costs associated with monitoring, logging and quantifying patient activity and related patient care enabling “home health care” to flourish. It should also help to reduce the amounts of medication prescribed, emergency room visits and encourage patient use and compliance.
Some of these new product categories will include:
Patient monitoring and tracking; vital signs data logging and clinical study
Physical therapy and Rehabilitation diagnostic tools; quicker feedback to clinicians
Real time impact/concussion monitoring and detection for athletes
Software development; data mining and data analytics; services
Smart prosthetics and exoskeleton assist technologies