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

SPE toy donation rolls into 15th year

January 26, 2015 2:01 pm ET

Continuing its holiday tradition, the Detroit section of the Society of Plastics Engineers donated more than 30,000 toys to Detroit-area charities in ...    More

Image

Spontak leads list of SPE award winners

January 22, 2015 4:56 pm ET

Richard Spontak, an authority in nano-technology and North Carolina State University's distinguished professor chemical and biomolecular engineering...    More

Image

Pyramid investing in new presses as it targets sales in medical, technical molding

January 21, 2015 1:40 pm ET

Custom molder Pyramid Plastics Inc. is investing to boost its stake in medical and technical molding.    More

Image

SPE extends contest deadline

January 21, 2015 3:23 pm ET

The Society of Plastic Engineers is extending the deadline for nominations in its second annual Plastics for Life global parts competition.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events