The Quantifed Self movement has been growing steadily beyond its Silicon Valley focus of late. This trend is fueled by the growth in wearables, platforms for exchanging health and fitness data, and a general shift from expert knowledge to more distributed forms of health expertise. Consumer electronics companies have entered the fray with the successful fitness trackers like Fitbit (see disclosure) and Jawbone UP, and Apple looms on the horizon. We’ll soon see consumers tracking everything including sleep, fitness, physiological indicators, sexual activity and fertility rates, mood and stress, location, diet, and nutrition data.
For our Sector RoadMapTM of Quantified Self devices we have identified five key forces and trends driving the marketplace over the next 24 months. As companies respond to these Disruption Vectors they will create new opportunities to meet these needs and compete for market share.
Key findings in our analysis include:
- Interoperability is the most important Disruption Vector. Data integration across personal and professional sources is a huge challenge. The health care industry has been notoriously slow to integrate electronic medical records (EMRs). At this point, there’s no obvious data integration supplier or platform.
- Companies that can create a data analytics business model, particularly one that supports and encourages the potential for behavioral change, will be winners. Useful analytics feedback will engage users and encourage usage, which in turn will cultivate positive health and fitness behaviors.
- Tapping into social networks is table stakes for these devices and platforms. And ultimately, the industry must move beyond the early-adopter Quantified Self crew to achieve mass scalability for health devices and services.
We evaluated a number of representative companies in the Quantified Self device and platform space. Currently Fitbit is the device maker best aligned with market forces, and Qualcomm’s 2Net, PatientsLikeMe, Runkeeper, and Withings are also in good positions.
Source: Gigaom Research
Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.
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