So Forbes is writing about how a new study that suggests the Affordable Healthcare Act, or “Obamacare,” could result in a boost in consumer medical devices. I also had a chance to see the numbers from analyst firm IHS, which suggests a shifted model to where preventative care is emphasized could boost this market to around $10 billion.
I tend to get cautious when I read reports like this one. Although it represents a positive direction in which the market should be heading, I always think it is rather difficult to assign hard dollars to people’s intentions. In other words, while it is true the Affordable Healthcare Act is intended to stress a more preventative care model, it still leaves a lot of freedom in the hands of the consumer to actually pursue these devices.
I am still not too sure the average person would actively pursue a connected health and wellness device without some further motivation. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that as consumers we have grown accustomed to the idea of “fix the problem” with our health versus applying preventative maintenance. I think I just made our bodies sound like how we take care of our automobiles, but nevertheless I think the assumption applies for a good percentage of the population.
It goes back to an earlier blog centered around news out of the American Heart Assn., that said by 2030 we could all be paying $244 a year to care for heart failure patients. The American Heart Assn., says that with the number of people with heart failure climbing from 5 million in 2012 to 8 million by 2030 treatment costs could be in line to more than double from $31 billion in 2012 to $70 billion in 2030.
At the time I argued that if a prominent organization like the American Heart Assn., didn’t seem overly encouraged that we would all be diving head first into the preventative treatment model and saying our healthcare costs would be on the rise as a result, then I had a hard time getting on board as well.
But let me play devil’s advocate now to my own argument. I think this model could work if we start to educate the average consumer more about the power of these connected medical devices. I still believe too few people are aware that these devices even exist, and the ones that do simply need more guidance and education about which ones are right for them and how to properly incorporate them into their daily routines.
Truth be told, devices interest the average person. Put some on display and get the right people involved that can talk intelligently about why they can make an impact in their life, and I think you have the attention of the average consumer.
This is precisely what we plan to have in store for attendees of the Chicago Auto Show in Chicago this February. In case you had not heard, we are co-locating our Connected World Conference at this event. It will literally be a show within a show. And while the connected cars might be the hook, once you are inside, our show becomes a showcase for connected devices of all shapes and sizes—including health and wellness devices.