iHealth Labs is a firm i’ve been following for some time as you can learn a lot from a medical device manufacturer that is confident of the consumer interest in well designed mobile connected devices.
It was great to be told of the huge sales and distribution successes that the company is enjoying (unfortunately details aren’t yet being published) as it’s further validation of several important beliefs that I have about the mHealth device industry:
1) The direct to consumer business model works AND is very profitable not only for device manufacturers but also their retail partners (regular readers obviously will know this already)
2) There is a sustainable premium value added when a medical device is connected and you understand the importance of the design, unboxing and set up processes:
Okay it doesn’t have to be white but it can help and the personalisation opportunities haven’t even been started on – can you imagine the appetite for hospital/gym/apparel/insurance brands if they could feature on wellness accessories that consumers want to buy and use?
3) The mobile retail opportunity is still unaddressed and there are huge opportunities for mobile retailers who can start selling mHealth devices as these accessories make great gifts, can be personalised and will appeal to a wide range of new and existing customers:
4) The appeal and opportunities that emerge from connecting devices is strong with senior audiences and opens massive insight into device design and service opportunities. It’s so obvious that the iHealth Labs designers are at the leading edge with this and I expect it to pay them huge dividends while making medical devices ever easier for patients to use in their homes:
Key take away:
iHealth Labs devices and the experiences they provide patients with are evolving at a rate that you don’t normally associate with medical devices. I think this is going to turn out very positive for the brand as it follows in the new order that we’re seeing with Hospitals rejecting dedicated “Hospital Grade” hardware in favour of solutions that run on consumer tablets/smartphones.
With an invaluable expanding distribution network of mobile retailers I can imagine a brand like iHealth Labs will become very attractive acquisition target for large medical brands who are struggling to understand and enter the fast paced “consumer first” medical device marketplace.
This post is part of a review of the 2012 mHealth Summit. Click here to read the full review.