wearable medical devices

The Big Differences Between Commercializing a Consumer Wearable vs. a Medical Wearable

Our Chief Commercial and Technology Officer, Dave Liebl, delves into this topic in his latest article for Medical Design and Development. Learn how to give your wearable device the best chance of success:

Excerpt from the article:

We are in the midst of a sea change in wearable medical device technology. Consumer companies are pursuing medical approval for their devices, and medical manufacturers are entering the consumer space, blurring the lines between consumer and medical wearables.

This shift has been spurred by a combination of factors, including: 

  • The advent of the “medsumer” (medical + consumer), people who are increasingly taking ownership of their healthcare, buying and using wearable devices to monitor health indicators and interface with caregivers.
  • Healthcare transitioning out of traditional clinical settings and into the home.
  • Rising costs that emphasize remote patient monitoring, disease prevention, and early detection.
  • Enhanced device capabilities, including accurate bio-measurements, prolonged battery life, and data collection and communication.
  • The prevalence of chronic disease – nearly 60%1 of Americans are living with chronic disease, while research has shown that digital disease management can improve medical outcomes. Examples include reducing the three-month rate of major cardiovascular events by 45% and reducing 30-day patient readmissions by 50%.2
micromedical device

These factors have created lucrative opportunities for wearable medical devices, as the global market is projected to eclipse $428 billion by 2030.3 

device development timeline

While consumer companies and medical manufacturers share the goal of getting innovative, profitable products to users, there are significant differences between commercializing a consumer wearable and a medical wearable. Market success will depend on each sector’s ability to learn from the other’s playbook.