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Wireless smart health worth USD54m by 2017

A new class of smart devices that wirelessly link to smartphones and tablets will begin to gain traction over the next few years, with health and fitness leading the way, says new research. 

Juniper Research's latest report on Smart Wireless Accessories forecasts that the total market will reach 110 million units in 2017, up from 10 million in 2012.

Increasingly intelligent accessories that focus on training, weight management and healthcare monitoring of chronic disease will dominate the market. 

The report observes that companies such as Nike, Jawbone Up and others are familiarising the market with how such "smart hardware" can use the processing power of the smartphone to analyse and relay information.  In the healthcare sector this can be used for managing chronic disease such as diabetes or COPD.

"Smart Wireless Accessories will become an important tool for the self-management of chronic disease, although more complex mHealth ecosystems will require bespoke devices, partly because the smartphone is not yet seen as a medical tool" says Anthony Cox.  "This means that bespoke mHealth devices will also develop," he says.

The report says consumer electronics uses, such as video eyewear, and payment processing represent two further areas where Juniper Research forecast robust growth.

Major retailers are allocating shelf-space to smart wireless accessories, particularly in the US.

"Freemium" and SaaS (software as a service) business models will emerge as the market for smart wireless accessories matures

Juniper Research found a surprising diversity of players within the smart wireless accessories market observing that the market is characterised by both new-entrants, such as Square and iZettle, and established players, such as the sportswear brands Nike and Adidas.

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