There are very few industries that didn’t benefit from developers and designers embracing innovative ways of integrating mobility in 2015. Experts expect the current trends to continue and drive technology priorities in 2016. Here’s a list of 5 hot trends we should be keeping our eyes on as 2015 ends and 2016 rolls in with a bang.
1. Consumerization of healthcare drives innovation for health wearables
We’ve talked about mobile applications that are helping doctors become more efficient and effective in treating patients. The health wearables market has also proven useful in 2015 in providing doctors and patients with increased access to necessary treatment data, and the industry is set to see significant growth in the coming year. There are those in the healthcare industry who warn that integration of health wearables will be a slow process. They argue that wearables and data collection will remain a niche practice until there are more substantial incentives and infrastructure to support industry-wide deployment. However, in the wake of the Affordable Care Act and the resulting consumerization of the healthcare industry, other experts are arguing that 2016 will be the year that patients will force healthcare providers’ to creating such an infrastructure a top priority.
With the rising costs of healthcare, patients are looking for better ways to become directly involved in the care process and are increasingly turning to wearables to meet their needs. The wireless medical devices market is expected to sell 100 million units in 2016, while the fitness-related wearables market is projecting 80 million units to be sold in 2016, as per reports. Combined, these markets are expected to generate over $6 billion in sales in 2016. These devices will help healthcare providers improve their databases by providing more accurate and timely patient information.
2. Mobile payments streamline the retail experience
In a previous blog, we gave you some advice on how to develop a mobile strategy to engage your customers. Industry research released since we posted that blog has cemented the fact that mobile devices are quickly becoming the modern wallet or purse for the everyday consumer – very few people leave their houses without a mobile device in hand.
Retailers throughout 2015 capitalized on this trend, providing innovative ways for consumers to interact with their brands and even pay for services through mobile devices. With mobile payments in 2016 expected to expand by more than 210% over 2015, the value of mobile payments is expected to exceed $27.05 billion (an annual average spending of $721 per head). This massive growth will be driven by three major retail technology trends in 2016:
- Manufacturers of mobile devices will be including mobile wallets as standard features in coming iterations of their operating systems (Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay).
- As mobile pay is considered by consumers to be a value-added service, merchants across all industries that have not already implemented mobile pay are expected to do so in the coming year in order to keep pace with competitors.
- As mobility affects consumers across generations, retailers should expect to see increased adoption of mobile pay methods in both the 25- to 34-year-old demographic (12.5%) and the over-65-year-old demographic (1.5%).
3. Connected cars will take the roads by storm
The coming year will be exciting for new car owners. We discussed in a previous blog about Android Auto’s efforts to bring mobility to new cars and it’s a step towards changing how drivers safely interact with mobile devices. 2016 will see manufacturers integrating new technologies from several developers that will allow cars to become an extension of our everyday mobile lives. Manufacturers are taking the digital connected car seriously – at more than 100 million lines of code, modern cars have more coding than many aircraft and operating systems. It’s estimated that a modern connected car will upload 25 GB of data every hour.
This surfeit of coding and data will go to support a number of connected telematics:
- Smartphone Integration – Manufacturers will be integrating voice-activation software into console hardware that will allow drivers to interact with mobile apps and other functions of their smartphones. Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay will be vying for our attention and each has released lists of manufacturers with whom they’ve partnered (Refer respective product sites for details: https://www.android.com/auto/ and http://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/).
- Digital Dashboard – Cars purchased in the coming year will include versatile digital dashboards and displays that, in combination with a built-in wireless connection, will allow digital navigation and digital gauges to be standard features in many models.
- Semi-Autonomous Cars – The technology isn’t advanced enough to say that 2016 will give us fully automated self-driving vehicles, but manufacturers are already integrating into 2016 models a combination of adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, lane-centering, parking assist, and other telematics technologies that are paving the way for more automated vehicles in coming years.
4. Telemedicine changing healthcare business practices
The healthcare software has experienced significant disruption due to the changing demands of patients and the need to improve the technologies that constitute the industry’s infrastructure. As we’ve discussed in detail in our two-part blog series Part 1: Telemedicine solution providers ushering in the future of healthcare & Part 2: Telemedicine challenges, telemedicine has played an increasingly important role in shaping the healthcare industry in 2015. With 21 million patients set to reap the benefits of telemedicine initiatives by 2018 and the healthcare industry poised to save an estimated $6 billion in annual costs through decreased office visits and more efficient care, the industry expects these five strategic technology trends to continue into 2016:
- Healthcare providers will increasingly utilize off-the-shelf hardware and network solutions to create the foundation for flexible and scalable telemedicine software applications.
- Providers will seek a single platform that can provide scalable enterprise-wide telemedicine solutions to support patients across different lines of service.
- With 90% of healthcare professionals using mobile devices to engage with patients somehow or the other, future medical software applications must continue to provide physicians with flexibility in their approach to providing care through telemedicine hardware and software solutions.
- EMR integration and the ability to interface with multiple systems must figure heavily into new telemedicine solutions.
- Acquisition of data analytics and the management of that data will increasingly become integrated and automated in telemedicine systems.
5. The internet-of-things (IoT) will impact everything
As manufacturers enhanced more and more electrical devices with embedded computing devices in 2015, the Internet of Things (IoT) made numerous headlines. The IoT is essentially an extension of what Gartner refers to as the device mesh, which includes mobile devices, wearables, consumer and home electronics, vehicles, and sensors throughout the environment. The trend of expanding the device mesh was so strong in 2015 that Gartner has released predictions that more than 20.8 billion devices will be considered part of the IoT by 2020 and that these products and services will generate revenue upwards of $300 billion. Gartner’s research shows that for 2016 alone, 6.4 billion IoT-enabled devices will be put to use, and will support a total spending on related services of $235 billion.
Businesses are anticipated to account for the largest spending in the integration of IoT and the associated communications networks that support IoT-enabled devices. An analyst for Gartner is quoted as saying that while the largest use of IoT connectivity is for items with specialized uses, such as tracking containers during the shipping process, “this is quickly changing with increased use of generic devices.”
As a result of such rapid expansion, Gartner has advised CIOs to make their top technology priority to focus on the development of IoT platforms that will provide the foundation upon which the device mesh and IoT can be managed, built, enhanced, and secured in the future.
Having said that, mobility came to define and shape strategic technological innovation throughout the economy in 2015. If mobility continues to play a role in the top technology trends for 2016 as anticipated, then the coming year holds many exciting opportunities for CIOs who are able to make mobile integration a top strategic priority.