US mobile health market growing rapidly

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: September 12, 2013 2:34 pm ET
Updated: September 12, 2013 2:36 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Medical
Companies & Associations Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)

GURNEE, ILL. — Right now 2.8 million Americans use dedicated devices — typically made of various types of plastics — as at-home medical monitoring devices.

And that market is likely going to be a lot bigger, said Dane Waund, global sales development manager at Solvay Specialty Polymers. The market is projected to climb to 9.4 million in 2017.

“This growth rate has our management pretty interested,” Waund said. “And I would guess it would have some of your management interested too. We believe in this marketplace we think it’s going to continue to move.”

Waund spoke about the mobile health care market — dubbed mHealth — during the Society of Plastic Engineers Medical Plastics MiniTec Sept. 9 in Gurnee.

While most health care markets seem to focus on the baby boomer generation, Waund said there is a great interest among younger Americans about gadgets and items to monitor health or fitness.

“There’s a whole segment on the move,” he said. “You are talking about younger folks who are very interested in their own health. They are trying to take control the data and understand what is going on in their bodies. There is a lot of activity going on for wellness.”

While some use dedicated devices — think the Nike FuelBand or separate heart rate monitors — applications on smartphones are a popular way to track health.

“There are possibilities for accessories,” Waund said. “If you think about the magnetic card reader that can be added to cell phones to take credit cards for business, similar accessories are being developed for health care.”

Waund said high performance polymers will dominate the space, with devices often needing the strength of metals, but with the benefit of being lighter.

Training is also a big area, with tablets, e-readers and mp3 devices helping in health care training.

“The idea of using these things that we, or our children, are getting more adept at using … at home for training and learning purposes,” Waund said.

In addition to the in-home market, the mobile health care market is invading clinics and hospitals as well, with plastic leading the way. And in the hospital setting, the plastic needs to withstand constant cleaning.

“If you’ve been in hospitals in the last five years, you’ll notice a lot less charts hanging on doors and a lot more carts with a laptop that is mobile, moving from room to room,” Waund said. “That laptop is being wiped down with an alcohol wipe or something else every time it moves.”


Comments

US mobile health market growing rapidly

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: September 12, 2013 2:34 pm ET
Updated: September 12, 2013 2:36 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Two medical device makers add specialty products through acquisitions

July 28, 2014 3:02 pm ET

The medical merger mania continues this summer as two more medical device manufacturers are swallowed up by bigger competitors.    More

Image

Topcon to cover TPE market

July 28, 2014 1:19 pm ET

The Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoplastic Elastomers TopCon returns to the Akron, Ohio, area Sept. 16-18, with speakers addressing global...    More

Image

RxFiber developing new generation of medical fibers

July 23, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Increased concern about patient safety is creating a business opportunity for biomaterial fibers maker RxFiber LLC.    More

Image

Wisconsin mold maker doubling facility size

July 16, 2014 2:05 pm ET

A Germantown, Wis. toolmaker is planning to more than double the size of its facility.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events