Worldwide shipments of wearable fitness and wellness devices will reach nearly 42 million this year, and there is growing impetus to leverage the data from these devices to inform health management and health care provision, according to a new report from ABI Research.

An emerging market of cloud application vendors are focusing on wearable device and smartphone application data to bring insights into personal medical records, and in turn provide actionable health care data, ABI says. For health care providers, this information can help inform everything from treatment plans to health insurance actuarial rates.

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