The timeline represents some key developments in the history of connected medical technologies and the emergence of wearable devices, along with technologies supporting the continuous collection of health data.

Listed in the timeline below are the major milestones in the digital biomarker space, as identified by GlobalData.

1960 – Holter monitor, used for recording ECG data

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1962 – Origins of cloud computing

1982 – Portable wireless heart rate monitor launched; invented by Polar Electro

1985 – Steve Mann incorporated electronic devices in garments including fibre optic sweatshirts

1994 – The world’s first smartphone was launched: IBM Simon

1999 – Kevin Ashton at Procter & Gamble coined the term “internet of things”

2000 – Cyberia survival suit (Reima) measures biometrics, comms and positioning

2003 – Bioharness (developed by Zephyr Technology) chest strap with biosensors

2003 – Garmin launches ‘Forerunner’ sports tracker measuring distance, speed, and heart rate

2006 – NIKE and Apple launch Nike+ iPod incorporating a shoe-worn sensor for running data

2006 – Fitbit launches its tracker for distance, calories, and sleep

2006 – Bluetooth smart technology introduced by Nokia

2009 – The first wireless, networked pacemaker fitted to patient Carol Kasyjanski

2010 – Sensor prices start to drop as capabilities increase

2010 – Apple Smartwatch developed

2010 – Proteus ingestible health sensor approved in Europe

2011 – Smartphone apps to detect skin cancer launched (MelApp, Mole Detective, Skin Vision)

2012 – Wider acceptance of fitness bands

2012 – Storage of health data in the cloud becomes more common amongst the West

2013 – Google “Project Glass” launched with AR glasses with smart capabilities

2013 – First surgery conducted by a doctor wearing Google Glass by Dr. Rafael Grossman

2014 – Number of mobile devices exceeds world population

2015 – Amazon releases Echo/Alexa

2015 – US hospitals pilot remote patient monitoring services using Apple HealthKit

2015 – Freestyle Libre Flash wearable glucose monitor created by Abbot

2016 – Unaliwear launches smartwatch Kanega with more sophisticated functionality

2016 – Google Alpha Go beats world Go champion highlighting scope of deep learning

2016 – Sporting wearable products from Garmin, Vandrico Solutions, Moov, and Jawbone

2018 – Evidation Health launched a chronic pain study to identify digital biomarkers using wearable devices

2018 – FDA approvals of wearable devices as medically accurate ECG/ EKG monitors (KardiaBand, Apple)

2019 – 5G technology trialled and launched in areas of the US

2020 – Volume of health care data estimated to exceed 2,314 exabytes, increasing at least 48% annually

2020 – Roche continues to build out its digital biomarker division

2021 – More employers implement health and fitness trackers as a condition of employment

2025 – The Hashtag generation, Generation Z will be the spearhead consumers for wearable tech

2040 – Deloitte predicts a complete overhaul in healthcare to a personalised, value-based system

This is an edited extract from the Digital Biomarkers – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.