Mobile devices have changed our lives. Next, they will save our lives. Too good to be true? Tell that to the thousands of Cigna employees who escaped diabetes because a new technology made by BodyMedia showed them how to change their lifestyles before it was too late. Yes, it is a step up from yester-year’s pedometers. They call it telemedicine. And, if you aren’t riding this tech wave, you will be left behind. And it’s not just a sweet ride that you might miss out on, it could make the difference between success and failure for your company as a whole. That might seem extreme, but only if you aren’t familiar with the Harvard Business Review’s recent study on the differences between companies that lead their industries and companies that lag behind their competitors. Trust me, these laggards are missing out on more than just the “trendy tech spotlight,” their sales will suffer as well.
The numbers: wearables is projected to be a $12.6 billion market by 2018 (that’s only three years away).
Wearables don’t only benefit the chronically ill (2.8% of the world’s population), but they also help you pay less for health insurance (or more if you chronically make ill choices). Due to these wonderful wearables, insurance providers and employers can unite to monitor employees health. Sound creepy? Maybe, but I’d wager that most Americans are willing to trade a little privacy for lower health insurance costs. Because these wearables can monitor health and detect illness before it ruins your day (or life), employers and insurance providers can reduce their costs.
Who else benefits? Employees, for one. Lower costs for employers and insurance providers equals lower health insurance costs for employees. Employees can also be more easily rewarded for healthy behavior. Health care providers also benefit. You may wonder how less sick people benefits health care providers who traditionally profit off of the illness of others. I explore this phenomenon in depth in a previous post, but in-short health care providers are now governmentally incentivized to keep their local populations healthy. Not only does the government reward them for accomplishing this incredibly difficult feat, but they are also penalized for failure. Wearables will help health care providers keep their populations healthy which will increase their revenue.
Telemedicine is here and it may prevent you and your colleagues from falling chronically ill, save you money, and allow you to benefit from a previously non-existent market. I wonder which industry tech will turn upside down next. . .