Voice-operated health device
Comcast (CMCSA) is developing a device that hospitals could use to remotely monitor changes in patients’ condition, according to a report by CNBC. The company is planning to begin testing the device later this year and has plans for commercial rollout as early as next year, according to the report. Comcast’s in-home health device, which users can operate through voice commands like smart speakers sold by Amazon (AMZN) and Google, will target at-risk people, such as seniors and people with disabilities.
Developing a health device for the home looks lucrative for Comcast given it already has good home penetration through its cable television and broadband services.
Digital health market is booming
Building a health monitoring device means Comcast is joining the chase for the multibillion-dollar revenue opportunity in the digital health market. The global digital health market was valued at $86.4 billion in 2018 and is forecast to grow to $504.4 billion by 2025, according to Global Market Insights projections.
Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple, and Microsoft (MSFT) are the other prominent American companies pursuing digital health dollars. Through its Verily and Google branches, Alphabet is involved in the development of devices and software that can be used to improve people’s health while also cutting down healthcare costs. Apple has been building health features into its devices. Microsoft makes wrist bands that can be used for monitoring heart health. Last year, Apple was selected alongside Fitbit (FIT) and many other companies to participate in an FDA pilot program for digital health. Fitbit is a leading vendor of wearable devices that can be used for heart monitoring and exercise tracking.