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Mobile tech reshaping the health sector

Published on Jul 27, 2014 9:30 AM
The JawBone Up24 fitness tracker. An analysis by the global consultancy Deloitte suggests that smart glasses, fitness bands and watches, should sell about 10 million units in 2014, generating over US$3 billion and that the number of devices will hit 170 million by 2017. -- PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Your smartphone is not only your best friend, it's also become your personal trainer, coach, medical lab and maybe even your doctor.

"Digital health" has become a key focus for the technology industry, from modest startups' focus on apps to the biggest companies in the sector seeking to find ways to address key issues of health and wellness.

Apps that measure heart rate, blood pressure, glucose and other bodily functions are multiplying, while Google, Apple and Samsung have launched platforms that make it easier to integrate medical and health services.

"We've gotten to a point where with sensors either in the phone or wearables gather information that we couldn't do in the past without going to a medical centre," says Gerry Purdy, analyst at Compass Intelligence.

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