Mobile connected health devices, such as blood pressure monitors and personal weighing scales, are showing strong increase in sales in European countries, despite still being a minority market.
According market data from GfK, the number of mobile-connected blood pressure monitors purchased last year rose by 42% across Great Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands, compared to 2012, while connected personal weighing scales rose by an enormous 88%.
Despite this strong growth, connected devices account for only a small percentage of the overall market at present. Last year, connected devices made up 5.5% of the total value of blood pressure monitors sold across these four countries, up from 3.7% in 2012, and 3.3% of connected personal scales, up from 1.8%. Looking at individual countries, however, connected personal scales already represent 6.3% value share in Germany and a very respectable 12.1% in the Netherlands. And, in France, connected blood pressure monitors claim a huge 17.4% value share.
Udo Jansen, a Global Director at GfK, believes that the connected devices market could offer significant market opportunities, saying, "Consumers are willing to pay around 100EUR more for a connected personal scale and 50EUR more for a connected blood pressure monitor, compared to the non-connected models. With 2014 being the year of 'mobile health' as well as wearable technology devices, the popular media buzz around these topics is likely to have a positive effect on consumers' awareness of the potential benefits on offer. Consumers today expect to receive immediate answers and information just by running a quick check through their smartphone or tablet. This also includes their personal health condition and activity level. Fitness Trackers in this context represent the next big trend, as we are currently experiencing."
Health & Fitness Trackers are a new product group that GfK is now auditing, which track a person's daily activity level by counting steps, distance, calories burned and sometimes even the hours of sleep. They are not only a personal control instrument, but also a lifestyle product - and more and more of these fitness gadgets are entering the market from well-known manufacturers in different industries.
GfK will be sharing more market data and insight on this and other mobile topics at the World Mobile Congress 2014 in Barcelona, 24-27 February.