Kore Telematics, one of the top providers of cellular bandwidth for companies that want to get their products or inventory on the internet, is seeing 40 percent growth in total connections with a third of those coming from medical device and payments processing. It looks like the focus on machine to machine connections is bearing fruit, and medicine and money are winning.
Alex Brisbourne, president and COO Kore Telematics, said in an interview last week that most of the company’s business is associated with asset or fleet management (making sure drivers are where they say they are and tracking high dollar equipment) but the company has been growing in those categories as it expands internationally. With hundreds of carriers around the world and different frequency bands for radios, tracking something across countries can be a challenge, so businesses may value the Kore services more if they need connectivity across different carriers and continents.
But in encouraging news for those of us watching the medical device space (as well as who don’t carry quarters for parking meters) roughly 30 percent of the new additions (or 13.3 percent) are from companies adding connectivity to heart monitors or payment processing to things like parking meters. About two-thirds of the growth is in medical devices and one-third in mobile payments. A couple of years ago, the medical device category was growing by 2 percent from a much smaller base, noted Brisbourne, as a means of comparison.
The growth of medical devices hasn’t gone unnoticed by others in the industry, and it is a topic we’ll discuss at our Mobilize 2012 conference in San Francisco this week.
Kore’s figures represent only cellular connections and are limited to its customers, but it’s nice to see the hype around connected medicine finally gathering real devices. I’ve been eagerly waiting for connected health products since about 2005, and have so far been pretty unimpressed. However, newer products and attempts to make use of the data those products are gathering are making me feel like connected medicine might really be around the corner.