In The Boardroom With...
Ms. Monique Merhige
Infusion Direct Marketing
GPS WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY HAS TAKEN A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION IN THE CONSUMER MARKET IMPROVING THE LIVES OF MILLIONS ONE STEP AT A TIME
INNOVATIVE WEARABLES THAT ARE USER FRIENDLY AND UNOBTRUSIVE OFFER EFFICIENT CARE WHILE REDUCING COSTS AND STRESS
Wearable Tech Market Overview
The consumer market for wearable technology is growing at an extremely high rate due to many factors in the marketplace. Sales for global wearable medical devices have exceeded $2 billion in 2015 and $5 Billion in 2016 with future forecasts calling for sunny skies. The global wearable medical device market is projected to reach $12.14 billion dollars by 2021, which is driven by a myriad of factors. Some include technological advancements in medical devices, the launch of a growing number of smartphone-based healthcare apps compatible with wearable devices, rising preferences for wireless connectivity among healthcare providers, and an increasing focus on physical fitness. In addition, growing trends towards home healthcare offers significant opportunities for expansion in this market.
The rapid growth rate can also be attributed to the fact that roughly six million elderly Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia and over 100 million people require oversight due to various forms of memory impairment that includes Alzheimer, Dementia, Autism, and Traumatic Brain Injury. According to “The 2013 World Alzheimer’s Report”, this number is expected to increase to 277 million by 2050 with 70% of the memory impaired becoming lost three or more times. The biggest challenge for most caregivers has been the ability to keep track of an individual’s whereabouts on a daily basis and prevent a patient from wandering off and getting lost. When a memory impaired person wanders, it can create havoc for caregivers who are ultimately responsible for the safety of their patient or loved one. Typically, 46% of wanderers who are not found within 24 hours are at a higher risk of death. With new strides in wearable technology advancements being made every day; the ability to track a person has become easier and less cumbersome; ultimately resulting in less deaths.
Currently, the wearable market is segmented into three specific areas which includes sports & fitness, remote patient monitoring, and home healthcare. Even with the sports & fitness segment dominating the market in 2016; the home healthcare segment is poised to grow exponentially by 2021. With a growing demand and usage of wearable medical devices, rising health concerns, an increase of wearable medical devices being prescribed by physicians, and the development of new GPS, sensor and wireless technologies; the market will continue to rise on a steady incline in the years to come.
The prominent players in the wearable medical device market include Apple, Fitbit, Jawbone Inc., Lenovo, and Dragerwerk AG & Co., Philips Healthcare, Garmin Ltd., LifeWatch AG, Omron Corporation, Withings SA, and Polor Electro. The growth in this market is being led by some heavy hitters in the tech industry such as Apple and Lenovo. Apple launched its Apple Watch in April 2015 and in 2016 Lenovo launched a smart running shoe made in collaboration with outsole maker Vibram. It runs on an Intel Curie wearable chip and performs most of your standard fitness tracker functions. The shoe counts your steps and tracks calories burned, lights up along the bottom, and contains a customizable 3D-printed insole. It can also charge wirelessly if you place it on a shoe-sized charging panel. Lenovo also set the pair up to work with an endless runner-style mobile game, and you can use your feet as a controller to step back and forth.
Perhaps Lenovo was inspired by a true pioneer in the IoT wearable technology industry, California-based GTX Corp (OTC: GTXO), who revolutionized the wearable industry with its patented GPS Tracking Technology - SmartSole®. For over 10 years, the company has been developing comprehensive end-to-end wearable tech solutions with a focus on smart footwear. GTX spearheaded the efforts of helping to protect individuals with memory impairments with its state-of-the-art wearable technology that embeds a GPS tracking device into a comfortable “Smart” insole. The insole fits easily into most adult shoes and allows a caregiver to monitor the whereabouts of an individual who may have a tendency to wander or at risk of becoming disoriented or lost. Without the need for a separate tracking device, the person can simply slip on their shoes and the smart technology does the rest. The SmartSole® solution leverages procedural memory, meaning even those with advanced memory disorders typically remember to wear shoes. The ergonomic GPS SmartSoles® are trimmed to fit and feel like regular insoles. Loved ones can be tracked unobtrusively and remain free from the stigma of “lock on” bracelets. The best part about the technology is that even though the insole is a little thicker than a typical insole, most wearers find them comfortable and don’t notice any difference between a regular orthotic insole. In addition, the SmartSoles® are also waterproof and completely sealed in water repellent material that absorbs moisture from the foot and will repel water if the wearer steps in a puddle.
The GPS SmartSole® is a smartphone hidden and sealed in an insole that provides real-time location tracking with a touch of a button. Every step a person takes is tracked and monitored using an app that can be downloaded on a caregivers’ computer or smartphone. It uses the same GPS and cellular technology as a smartphone, requires charging, and works cross country within cellular network covered areas. It also requires activation along with a data service plan.
“The global wearable devices market continues to gain momentum and is projected to reach US$12 billion by 2020. While many companies are now using it as a catch phrase, GTX Corp (OTC: GTXO) has been pioneering ‘wearable tech’ and building an extensive intellectual property portfolio for over a decade, with patent filings dating back to 2002,” states Patrick Bertagna, GTX Corp Chairman and CEO. “Our flagship product the GPS SmartSole® – think Dr. Scholl’s meets Lojack - is now being sold across the globe providing safety, security and peace of mind to the millions of people worldwide that have some kind of cognitive disorder and have a tendency to wander and become lost.”
GTX Success Story
The impact that the GPS SmartSole® wearable solution has had on the global market is monumental. From daughters and sons trying to protect their parents, to caregivers watching over patients, to protecting a spouse or an autistic child; this solution has given peace of mind to so many people throughout the world thanks to GTX. The company is extremely proud of their successes and is committed to providing the best smart technology and services to their customers. One customer in particular came to GTX looking for a solution for her husband in upstate NY. Their house was surrounded by a state park and lake creating a hazardous environment for any type of walk or physical activity. With the GPS SmartSole® solution, the wife was able to track her husband’s every move in real-time by checking his whereabouts on the computer or her iPhone. This helped keep her husband safe at all times and provided total peace of mind on a daily basis. GTX has hundreds of stories like this in their repertoire and will continue to build upon their successes and create a safer world for everyone.
Next Steps For GTX and the Wearable Market
As we ring in the new year, GTX continues to be at the forefront of the latest in wearable technology and recently attended the 2017 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas in early January to showcase their state-of-the-art GPS SmartSole® technology. With a focus on this ever growing market, the CES show is the world’s largest gathering place for the latest in consumer technologies and even had a dedicated pavilion that featured the latest in wearable technology . The Wearables Marketplace at CES featured everything from high-tech fashion and smart jewelry to wearables that track different moods, activities and even pets, as well as the newest augmented reality devices. Collaborations between sensors, low-energy Bluetooth, cloud computing, 3D printing, flexible membranes and more are transforming age-old fashions to the next global trend. “In 2017 we will continue to expand our global distribution of our own products, but also begin leveraging our platform and IP through licensing and OEM deals with new partners. Additionally, we will be coming out with new products for markets such as the military and law enforcement,” states Patrick Bertagna, GTX Corp Chairman and CEO.
The wearable technology industry is expected to see another big forecast jump in the years to come and is showing no signs of slowing down, which is very good news for the future steps of GTX. The company’s early entry into this industry, brand recognition, industry knowledge, and staying power is opening up opportunities to step up their game in 2017 and continue the momentum in the wearable market to move forward and upward.
MARKET CAPS OF COMPANIES MENTIONED
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) $620 Billion
Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) 2 Billion
Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) 10 Billion
GTX (OTCMRKTS: GTXO) 3 Million
Lenovo (HKG: 0992) 58 Billion
Under Armour (NYSE: UA) 13 Billion