Global wearable medical technology market is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 17% over the forecast period. Wearable medical devices are attached to the human body which act as biosensors to monitor and detect crucial changes in certain areas of the body and seize physiological data. They are non-invasive in nature and provide complete information to the medical practitioners while monitoring the medical conditions, making diagnosis easier. They reduce hospital-based expenditure and offer efficient care.
This market is driven by the need of new innovative health management devices. Large number of ongoing projects, rising number of chronic diseases worldwide and the ease of use of medical devices is expected to increase the demand for wearable medical devices. There is a lack of awareness among consumers in the developing countries like Mexico, India and Brazil about the technology. This leads to slower adoption. Certain other drawbacks, like the devices being expensive, makes it difficult for adoption.
Major issues challenging the market comprise of communication, device connectivity, battery life and privacy concerns in sharing sensitive patient data. Stringent regulations for maintaining certain standards may hamper the market growth. Wearable medical devices offer various functions such as a reminder for patients, monitoring glucose, blood sugar and chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases and various other parameters. They also offer reports & feedback, local processing, easy & timely sensing and communication capabilities. Few examples of these devices include smart clothing, smart watches, activity monitors and smart equipment.
These medical devices provide solutions to both health care providers and physicians. The devices offer services such as monitoring & feedback, health & fitness processes, disease management and rehabilitation. In 2015, monitoring and feedback solutions accounted for over 70% share of the global wearable medical technology market.
These devices offer features such as real-time feedback, wireless data transmission and alerting mechanism. Thus, the generated data, along with analytics, is utilized by healthcare providers for improved care which minimizes the in-person consultation charges. It is also utilized by patients for better health management. Reduction of sensor technology and growth in computation technology and wireless communication have facilitated the shift of clinical monitoring beyond the hospitals to homes or outdoors.
Global wearable medical technology can be widely segmented into therapeutic and diagnostic wearable market. Further, they are segmented based on the specific functions of the devices. These include global wearable foetal monitors, neuro-monitoring devices, wearable vital sign monitors &obstetric devices; insulin/glucose monitoring devices, wearable pain management medical devices and wearable respirator devices. This technology is used across home healthcare, sports & fitness and monitoring patients. Home health monitoring segment has been projected to witness fastest growth on account of the accuracy of these devices and its ease of use.
North America wearable medical technology market has been the industry leader over the past few years. Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing regional market over the forecast period. Prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and growing geriatric population in countries such as Japan is expected to aid the overall technology growth. An increased awareness for the need of continuous health monitoring and an increased per capita spending on the healthcare services across the region had direct positive impact on the technology demand.
Key wearable medical technology market players include Google Inc., Philips Healthcare, Medtronic Plc, Withings SA, Gentag Inc., Intel Corporation, Nuubo, Polar Electro, Winmedical Srl, Intelesens Ltd., Omron Corporation, LifeWatch AG and Sotera Wireless Inc. These companies on their their services, products and continuous product innovations to gain market revenue share over the next seven years.
Based on the trends in mergers and acquisitions, it is projected that the smaller companies will acquire the bigger companies for improved innovations by utilizing their core competencies. In addition, companies such as Nike, Google, Apple and Fitbit Inc. that are involved in introducing more innovative products are anticipated to witness significant growth over the forecast period. The current focal point of these companies include wristbands and smart watches which will lead to ample availability of such devices over the next seven years.
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