Number of Americans using fitness trackers to double by 2021

Activity trackers are going to be used by more than 1 in 5 Americans by 2021, says a new study from Juniper Research.

A gradual transition from fitness to health will prompt over 75 million Americans to strap on an activity tracker over the next five years, over double the current number. The same study suggests that this will become a market that will generate $20 billion in annual sales by 2021.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets for 2017

Leading wearables manufactures such as Fitbit, Withings and Misfit will lead this change according to the report. Institutional partnerships and integration with medical databases will soon become a priority, and focus will shift from tracking activity to monitoring health.

The fact that so many fitness trackers these days track a wide range of metrics, including heart rate, is accelerating this transition. Players who are able to make their devices and systems part of healthcare practices will reap the largest rewards.

“The promise of a healthier life remains the biggest reason for wearables use,” said research author James Moar.

“The ability to collect more and better data on consumers, coupled with advances in artificial intelligence, will allow these devices to provide tailored advice, and have a much clearer impact on consumers’ lives in future.”

Interestingly, the research also found that nearly a quarter of fitness trackers will be something other than a wristband by 2021. The days of ugly fitness trackers and bulky smartwatches aimed at tech buffs are clearly behind us. Despite the changes in shape and context, core functions will remain unchanged: to record activity and provide advice.

The whitepaper, Fitness Wearables ~ Going the Extra Metric is available to download from the Juniper website.

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