Article | March 11, 2022

Two Trends Powering the Evolution of Digital Health

Brian Comiskey

As a non-profit trade association and producers of CES®, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) enjoys a unique, ground level perspective to innovation across industries from cybersecurity to robotics to digital health. CTA monitors advancements in digital health for the Nasdaq CTA Global Digital Health Index™ (BEWELL™) to identify the companies, products, and trends evolving healthcare in the coming years.

Per Statista, the global digital health market is expected to exceed $500 billion by 2025, more than doubling in size from 2020. Furthermore, digital health startups raised $29.1 billion (almost twice 2020 figures) in 2021 according to a year-end report by venture fund Rock Health.

Two trends lie at the foundation of the growing digital health environment: the expansion of the telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) ecosystem, and the enrichment of real time health data provision for consumers via connected medical devices and wearables.

The Doctor, Dentist and Therapist Will See You (Virtually) Now

As telehealth firms like Amwell and Teladoc promote virtual-first primary care models in the post-pandemic era, the telehealth industry is expanding deeper into other virtual treatment areas such as teledentistry and teletherapy. The global teledentistry market which features companies like SmileDirectClub is expected to reach $2.6 billion by the end of the decade per Insight Partners.

Teletherapy represents a rapidly growing telehealth segment as companies like Talkspace democratize access to mental health professionals with global funding for mental health tech startups jumping to $5.5 billion per CB Insights. According to CTA’s own Mental Wellness Technology Landscape whitepaper, 37% of U.S. consumers are interested in using online counseling/therapy platforms.

Advancements in RPM have mirrored the widening therapeutic ecosystem trend in telehealth. Remote glucose and blood oxygenation monitoring solutions have been hallmarks of this digital health space through firms like Senseonics Holdings and Masimo Corp, but recent product launches have pushed RPM solutions into new areas such as epilepsy and renal disease.

2021 saw the launch of the nSight Platform by NeuroPace, a digital portal that works with the company’s epilepsy device to provide hospitals with patient seizure data and health progress from their homes. Outset Medical received Medicare approval in November of 2021 to allow consumers to adopt Outset’s RPM-enabled at-home dialysis device more easily.

Digital Health Device Capabilities Level Up

Beyond telehealth and RPM, connected medical devices and wearables have seen productivity meet style. Digital health device and wearable companies are focused on improving real-time data capabilities on a range of conditions, while also developing sleeker and more discreet product models to allow patients to manage their health in a more customized and personal fashion.

Abbot’s Freestyle Libre 3 continuous glucose monitoring (GCM) technology shows the focus on enhancing real-time provision. This latest model provides glucose readings every minute directly from the wearable sensor device, which are pushed out through alerts to an iPhone or Android. This sensor is smaller and thinner than previous GCM models reducing plastic use, providing a degree of discretion for users seeking more privacy.

Smartwatches have also improved as the personal health boom of the pandemic pushed models to onboard health features beyond heart rate and sleep monitoring. Notably, Withings showcased their ScanWatch at CES, which is the first FDA-approved smartwatch, featuring atrial fibrillation (AFib) and respiratory disorder detection capabilities all in a stylish wearable.

Charting Digital Health Industry Growth

Groundbreaking innovation in telehealth and RPM access as well as connected health devices will drive continued growth in the digital health industry.

Surges in unit shipments, market growth, and venture capital funding demonstrate a convergence in consumer, industry and investor conviction in the potential of digital health solutions. It shows the promise of the industry to empower patients to better manage their own health.

The BEWELL index places a global spotlight on the companies that are making care more accessible and affordable around the world.

Learn More About Trends in Digital Health Technology

During CES 2022, leaders from across the digital health field talked about the latest innovations at the Digital Health Studio. Watch these conversations, now available on demand.


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