Application Focus: Healthcare and Fitness
Healthcare and personal fitness is an industry many analysts believe will be a segment that will undergo significant growth in the next few years, some are predicting a combined market value well in excess of $10 billion (USD).
The advanced technical capabilities of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets account for much of this growth since they enable personal area networks, cloud connectivity and product interaction.
Personal fitness and healthcare have transitioned from a doctor's office or gym environment to a mobile 'lifestyle' approach. Manufacturers have developed numerous sensor products including pedometers, heart rate monitors, body calipers and digital weigh scales all designed to provide users and doctors with health data and encourage users to take self-interest in their own well-being.
An entire industry has been built on the creation of applications for fixed and mobile computing platforms to extract information from aggregated sensor data and provide both doctors and users with fast and near real-time feedback.
802.11 Wi-Fi infrastructure is now typical in most home environments and Wi-Fi is the wireless networking technology of choice at home and in the office. With Wi-Fi availability widespread, medical sensors can be placed almost anywhere in a house. Wi-Fi avoids the proximity limitations of other short-range wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, and sensors no longer need to be close by a cellphone to provide a communication link to a remote care provider or doctor.