Bluetooth Smart and Wi-Fi to Beat Out Proprietary Protocols in Mobile Body Area Network Device Market

Oyster Bay, New York - 27 Sep 2013

Proprietary wireless protocols are quickly losing their dominance in the healthcare market to more standards-based wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IEEE 802.15.4. Over the next 5 years, Bluetooth Smart (formerly Bluetooth Low Energy) will lead in shipments and Wi-Fi will lead in revenues in the healthcare device IC market expected to exceed $100 million by 2018.

“Smartphones and tablets are the primary reason for Bluetooth Smart adoption in MBAN devices. Given their growing penetration among consumers and Bluetooth Smart Ready enablement, they are the conduit for MBAN wireless sensor data back to cloud-based healthcare services,” says senior analyst, Adarsh Krishnan.

The recent IEEE 802.15.6 and IEEE 802.15.4 enabled devices that can operate in the dedicated wireless spectrum (2360-2400 MHz) allocated for MBAN use are expected to witness less traction with adoption initially limited to professional on-site healthcare facilities. The 802.15.6 standard ICs are expected to ship around 8 million chipsets worldwide in 2018.

ZigBee and other 802.15.4 based protocols are expected to outperform 802.15.6 standard growing at CAGR of 72% over the next 5 years. Inhibiting adoption of the newer 802.15.6 protocol is the lack of wireless spectrum harmonization across different world regions.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s mHealth Research Service which includes Research Analyses, Market Data, Insights, and Competitive Assessments. The service looks at the rapidly developing market for wearable wireless sensors and their connectivity to gateway devices and smartphone applications across sports, fitness and wellbeing, home healthcare, remote patient monitoring, and on-site professional healthcare markets.

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