Health Data Connectivity To Be Widespread By 2025, Survey Finds

A new report released by the Pew Research Center Internet Project found by 2025 the use electronic health tracking devices will be widespread and many people will be using the devices to not only monitor themselves but also their family members and employees.

The report was based on a survey of more than 1,600 technology experts on the future of the Internet.

The report, which was not limited to healthcare, noted the majority of the survey respondents believe by 2025 the use of interoperable electronic devices will be so widespread it will create a "global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment."

There were 13 billion devices being used in 2013 that were Internet-connected and by 2020 that number will rise to 50 billion. By 2025, there will be a vast array of interoperable devices being used, including "phones, chips, sensors, implants and devices of which we have not yet conceived," said Patrick Tucker, author of "The Naked Future: What Happens In a World That Anticipates Your Every Move," in the report.

Jim Hendler, a professor or computer science at Troy, N.Y.-based Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute said he believed health apps will grow and develop the most in coming years. He predicted by 2025, health apps will allow for many new things, including the "passive monitoring of blood sugar" and will be "specialized for specific ailments," according to the report.

JP Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com, said, "Wearable, connected devices will become embedded more and more in our bodies, more like implants, as in Google Glass becoming more like contact lenses," in the report.   

“One positive effect of ‘ubiquitous computing,’ as it used to be called, will be much faster, more convenient, and lower-cost medical diagnostics. This will be essential if we are to meet the health care needs of a rapidly aging baby boomer generation," said Mr. Tucker in the report.

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