Wi-Fi has already been widely adopted across professional healthcare locations in North America, but the expansion of existing networks and the growing adoption of Wi-Fi in other regions around the world will ensure that the market for Wi-Fi access point hardware, software, and services will grow to $1.34 B by 2016.

Wi-Fi-embedded consumer devices are also making their way into professional healthcare locations, furthering the demand for access to professional healthcare Wi-Fi networks.

“ABI Research expects the number of smartphone and handheld computing devices leveraging professional healthcare Wi-Fi networks to grow by close to 20 percent in this market in 2011,” says Jonathan Collins, Principal Analyst, wireless healthcare and M2M.

Leading Wi-Fi infrastructure vendors including Cisco, Aruba, and Motorola are all focused on the potential for Wi-Fi in healthcare. These companies are set to benefit as customers not only build out their networks, but also turn to established vendors and their partners to deliver management for networks and the growing number of applications that will leverage that connectivity.

Existing Wi-Fi-based applications such as Voice over Wi-Fi and RTLS (real-time location systems), will increasingly be joined by a new generation of “medical body area networks” (MBANs), which are positioned to also leverage Wi-Fi connectivity through gateway devices that take advantage of Wi-Fi connectivity to support mobile monitoring capability. The global MBAN market within professional healthcare will see nearly 30 million devices shipped annually by 2016.

ABI Research’s new study, “Wireless Technologies in Professional Healthcare,” examines the size of the market for Wi-Fi hardware and services, looking at both the current challenges and potential rewards. It forecasts the possible adoption of various technologies in medical body area network applications within the professional healthcare setting.