MOBILE HEALTH/ADAPTIVE OPTICS: mHealth, adaptive optics see tremendous growth

Innovation in mobile health may be driven largely by interest in vital signs and in vivo diagnostics (according to a new report by Lux Research)—but it is aided by low-cost photonics that enable point-of-care systems.

Innovation in mobile health may be driven largely by interest in vital signs and in vivo diagnostics (according to a new report by Lux Research)—but it is aided by low-cost photonics that enable point-of-care systems. The Lux (Boston, MA) report, titled "mHealth Showdown: Consumer and Clinical Devices' Battle for Market Dominance," says the overall mobile health market will octuple in size during the next decade-from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $41.8 billion in 2023. It notes that once clinical devices clear regulatory hurdles and gain acceptance of physicians, they will far surpass consumer-focused mobile health offerings.

"Consumer devices have seen a lot of hype but clinical devices will surpass their consumer counterparts in revenues by 2020, helped by value-added software services and generally larger revenue streams," said lead author Nick Kurkjy. He added that, "Clinical markets will be able to pay much more for comparable services, especially if a device is able to reduce patient recovery times or readmission rates, which can lead to outsized cost savings for the health care provider."

The report quantifies a sharp rise in venture funding for mobile health devices since 2007, to $480 million in 2013, and says that large electronics and medical device companies are starting to make acquisitions in this arena.

Another report, this one from BCC Research (Wellesley, MA), says the global adaptive optics (AO) market will balloon to $40.7 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87.9 percent over a nine-year period starting in 2013. Originally developed in 1953 for astronomical research, AO technology's ability to provide unprecedented clarity has found increasing applications across a broad range of industries, including applied scientific research and medicine.

The medical category, currently the second-largest segment of the AO market, is expected to move at a CAGR of 89.5 percent, reaching $9.4 billion by 2022. One of the drivers of this growth is the technology's success in in vivo cell research, which can be extended to real-time patient monitoring. The technique is already being used in ophthalmology and other medical disciplines.

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