Mobile health and fitness devices gain momentum at CES

Among the massive displays of TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and other gadgets at last week’s International Consumer Electronics Show, mobile health and fitness solutions were among the most dynamic new areas of focus at the conference.

Industry heavyweights Qualcomm and Verizon Wireless were among the most prominent firms to dedicate substantial booth space to display their growing set of partners and wireless health solutions. Verizon’s health section focused on several clinical health devices including LTE enabled devices for use in ambulances, remote patient diagnostics and home health monitoring.

This year’s conference also included an expanded section that included dozens of companies such as Body Media offering its FIT arm bands with sensors that monitor body vitals and Telcare with its innovative blood glucose monitor that includes built-in cellular connectivity to send a patient’s daily glucose readings to his/her physician.

In addition to these health-focused products, health and fitness related games were also prominently featured in Microsoft’s XBox 360 area. While the sales volumes of this growing array of products continues to be modest in comparison to the broader mobile phone space, BestBuy CEO Brian Dunn stated that the growth trend for the category has prompted the giant retailer to create a health focused product team for wireless health solutions and carve out dedicated floor space for the new products throughout its chain of stores.

Within the US market, the complexities of device certification, health insurance and payment mechanisms continue to present a challenge to new wireless clinical solutions. but the expanded offering of wireless consumer fitness and wellness products is proving to be one of the most compelling new product categories for 2012.

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