2021: pandemic-proof wearables continue on their journey

Marta Cristofanini

It’s been a year since we published an article on our blog announcing 2020 as the “smart” year of wearable devices. Let’s see how it went (and how it will go)

2020 unfortunately wasn’t the year we all hoped it would be. It was a year that caught us off guard and will leave deep wounds in the social fabric of our country and the world at large. A year ago we started with an article announcing 2020 as the year of wearables, in which consumer interest and purchase forecasts would have been soaring. Has this actually been the case?

Uninterrupted growth for wearables

In a word: yes. That’s how it happened. The pandemic brought many industries to their knees; but in this case, consumer interest and willingness to buy have eliminated the danger.

According to a year-end survey conducted by IDC (International Data Corporation), 2020 was the year of growth for one particular category of wearables: hearables.

If you haven’t heard this term yet, don’t worry! It’s a very recent neologism born from the crasis between the words wearable and headphones. They are in fact nothing more than the smart wearable headphones that we all know and that many of us have.

Hearables accounted for 60% of sales, reaching 234.3 million units sold in 2020. Smartwatches, on the other hand, took 23.1% of total sales: 91.4 million were sold; finally, bracelets and fitness trackers followed in third place; their share of sales was 17.1% with 67.7 million units sold.

Market predictions expect annual growth of 12.4%; this would mean that in 2024 the units sold would reach a total of 637 million.

Examples of different wearables

Toward increasingly smart healthcare

The numbers confirm it: the pandemic and the resulting social isolation have accelerated the pace towards a new awareness.

According to recent scientific research, there is a strong trend towards care services without or with reduced physical contact; we’re talking about e-healthcare or telemedicine, for example.

In short, the current healthcare crisis has undoubtedly induced a deep interest in apps and wearables for care use; if you want to learn more about this topic, we recommend reading the comprehensive article by Business Insider.

Why they are becoming necessary

Why will wearables be increasingly adopted in healthcare and care settings?

Beyond the contingency that is overwhelming us, there are a variety of reasons for interest; all of which can be traced to the tangible benefits these solutions bring.

First, wearable technology reinforces behaviors that reduce hospital visits and readmissions due to poor personal care.

Secondly, people in general are more responsive and engaged in actively participating in maintaining their health.

Finally, the entire healthcare system is changing its view of care; it is shifting from services focused on treatment to services based on prevention and management. Patients can contribute to the self-monitoring of their own status, even going so far as to use advanced assistive devices in some cases.

A particular category of wearables: smartwatch

A Won Bet

We therefore conclude with the hope that the use of wearables can grow more and more in sensitive contexts such as, for example, care settings.

Their results in terms of prevention and tracking are emerging with clarity, and this seems to be a confirmation of a successful path. Pandemic-proof.

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