Home connected devices include not only hardware sitting quietly at home but also the wearable devices we wear on our bodies. Smart footwears, now might a bit hard to imagine, will see a significant growth by 2021, according to ABI Research.
The research firm has published a report forecasting that smart footwear market will grow to six million unit shipments in 2021, from just 300,000 in 2016, an 82% CAGR. The main driven will be mHealth applications. Sensors built-in in shoes or smart socks to track parameters with minimal disruption to the users can provide home monitoring and remote patient management, the firm says.
There are some companies, such as Plantiga, FeetMe and Orpyx, starting to develop smart footwear as a form factor to support diagnostic medical data collection. For instance, Orpyx has designed SurroSense RX with sensors to detect the amount of pressure that a person place on each part of the foot. This product aims to help when diabetics patients are at risk of peripheral neuropathy and lose capabilities to detect dangerous pressure levels in their bodies, the device can then alert the user and the doctor for any issues.
While the Owlet Smart Sock features pulse oximetry technology which can monitor the user’s heart rate and oxygen levels, and GTX Corp’s GPS SmartSole was created with GPS and cellular connectivity so that it is able to track the elder’s location and send alerts when they wander off.
In other words, home monitoring device and system providers that produce smart footwear target a wide range of age demographic, from babies, children to the elder.
“New home and remote patient monitoring smart footwear devices grant healthcare providers 24/7 access to in-depth, real-time health updates concerning their patients’ posture and gait. Such detailed reporting used to be constricted to a hospital bed; now healthcare providers can paint a fuller picture of their patient’s health outside of the hospital, ultimately allowing them to better monitor ongoing issues and make more accurate diagnoses,” said Stephanie Lawrence, the research analyst at ABI Research.
At the end of the report, the research firm also suggests that rising vendors in the smart footwear market need to create devices which can truly precisely detect how a person is walking and provide accurate feedback concerning any issue, since healthcare sector requires constant and correct monitored data.