Wearable Medical Devices Market – Global Outlook & Forecast 2021-2031

Wearable Medical Devices Market by Type [Diagnostic & Monitoring Devices and Therapeutic Devices], Device Type [Smartwatch, Wristband and Ear Wear], Application [Healthcare & Medical and Fitness & Wellness] – Global Analysis & Forecast 2021-2031

Clairvoyance Research conducted an in-depth market analysis study of the global wearable medical devices market. According to the study, the market was valued at ~US$ 20.5 billion in 2020. The market is expected to witness a CAGR of ~23% from 2021 to 2031.

Growing awareness for healthy lifestyle amid COVID-19 outbreak, rising prevalence of various chronic diseases coupled with increasing geriatric population and rising demand for home healthcare. Furthermore, rapid adoption of innovative & advanced technologies such as AI, 5G, sensors, etc., has also played a pivotal role in contributing to the growth of the market globally. However, safety, security and privacy concerns related to wearable medical devices are likely to hinder the growth of the market to a certain extent.

With an aim to fast-track the development of wearable medical devices and to meet the needs of the healthcare sector, several initiatives such as providing necessary grants, permission, clearances & approvals have been instigated by various organizations and government agencies across the world. For instance, in Dec 2020, GOQii, the smart-tech-enabled preventive tech platform received medical device registration from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for their three wearables - GOQii Smart Vital, Vital 3.0 and Vital ECG. In another instance, in April 2020, American Heart Association awarded $2.5 million grant to establish a new wearable health technology research center at University of Michigan.

Technological convergence of smart devices such as smart phones, smartwatches, etc., with the medical devices such as pulse oximeters, electrocardiographs, glucose meters, ultrasound scanners, etc., has blurred the lines between consumer electronics and medical device technology. This has allowed the applications of wearable medical devices to move far beyond the user-grade health & fitness devices. Wearable medical devices have provided game-changing benefits to the healthcare landscape. Since the last few years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been unprecedented growth in the wearable medical device usage, as consumers are investing towards healthier lifestyle and keeping track of their health with data. The data delivered by wearable medical technology provides life-saving information such as real-time remote monitoring of symptoms and signs. This data not only allows more accurate diagnosis of patient’s ailments but also enhances communication between patients and doctors, even without doctors having to see patients in person.

Wearable medical device companies are continuously striving to stay abreast with next-gen technologies. Integration of technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing solutions in wearable devices is set to drive the market. These technologies have enabled the launch of innovative and more cost-effective solutions that can collect and analyze massive amounts of biometric and other patient data. Furthermore, advancements in the diagnostic sensors in wearable devices has also played a crucial role in chronic condition management. Sensors plays an important role in diagnosis of various diseases in real-time. It measures small concentrations of metabolite gases emitted through human skin & breath and then these measurements are used to detect biomarkers that can indicate a variety of diseases. Prominent players in the market are continuously making an effort to launch advanced sensors with greater functionality, portability, and long-term stability. For instance, in March 2021, Shimmer Research announced the launch of its Verisense Pulse+ sensor for use with its Verisense wearable sensor platform. The device is designed to offer photoplethysmogram (PPG), galvanic skin response (GSR), and inertial measurement unit (IMU).

With increasing adoption of wearable medical devices, concerns related to patients’ safety and security is also increasing. The most common battery used in medical device applications is the lithium-ion (Li-ion) cell. Lithium batteries can be dangerous if are of substandard quality, as such batteries lack the necessary protection circuits that are needed to prevent them from overcharging, overheating, or becoming unstable. Such batteries are at potential risk to catch fire or explode thereby putting patients at risk of burns or other injuries. According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Status Report on High Energy Density Batteries Project, from 2012-2017, there were more than 25,000 overheating or fire incidents involving lithium battery-powered consumer products. 

Moreover, security and privacy concerns are also a serious threat for wearable medical device users. Around 40% people who uses smartwatches or fitness trackers are concerned about the privacy of the data that their device collects. These concerns are mostly about insecure communication, user data being hacked & manipulated, data theft, lack of encryption and other vulnerabilities. This put patients’ information at risk and thieves can use this information to file fraudulent insurance claims, order prescriptions and more.

The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the fastest growing region in the wearable medical devices market. Factors such as presence of large patient pool, developing healthcare infrastructure, increasing adoption of new technologies, growing penetration of smartphones, presence of several low-cost device manufacturers  and rising government initiatives for reducing patient hospital visits can be attributed to the growth of the region. Countries such as India, China and Japan in the APAC region are projected to offer significant growth opportunities owing to growing strategic collaborations among insurance companies, medical device companies & pharmaceutical companies and rising investments into new technologies including AI, analytics, and internet-of-things.

The wearable medical devices market is marked by presence of prominent players such as Medtronic, General Electric Company, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Abbott, Apple Inc., VitalConnect, Huawei Device Co., Ltd., Omron Healthcare, Inc., Masimo and BD. Other players operating in the market are CONTEC MEDICAL SYSTEMS CO. LTD, Preventice Solutions (Acquired by Boston Scientific), Inc., Bio-Beat, iRhythm Technologies, Inc, among others.

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