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New devices including Smartphones and tablets are placing consumers back in the driving seat for health and fitness, says Ovum.
Rather than consulting their doctor or other health professionals, Smartphone and online apps are increasingly providing the answers at the click of a button.

“Against a backdrop of increasing life expectancy, consumers are taking more responsibility for safeguarding their long-term quality of life and ensuring they continue to be healthy well into the future,” says Cornelia Wels-Maug, author of the research report.

These e-health applications can advise on everything from diet, health and fitness and medical information to tracking women’s menstrual cycle and alerts for taking medication, meaning that the innovative technology can quite literally save consumers lives.

“We see a trend towards the use of devices like iPhones and iPads in healthcare in Australia”, admitted Dr Steve Hodgkinson, Ovum’s Public Sector Research Director.

He also predicts a stronger uptake of medical devices aimed at the consumer during 2011, in particular in the US, which has seen a huge surge in online health sector, although he admitted Europe is lagging behind somewhat.

US owned electronics retailer Best Buy has already said it will start selling wireless-enabled health and fitness devices in more than half of its 1,089 stores.

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