The wearable devices are non-invasive medical device which is used to monitor parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure and blood glucose level, and to treat and diagnose specific conditions. It also has capabilities of wireless data transmission and assessment. The global wearable medical devices market is growing at significant rate, due to technological advancement in medical devices, and boosting penetration of smartphones. The market has witnessed high demand for activity monitors over the last few years due to increasing prevalence of lifestyle associated and chronic diseases.
Insight by Device Type
There are two types of wearable devices, diagnostic and monitoring device, and therapeutic device. The increasing prevalence of lifestyle associated diseases and chronic diseases, growing awareness of physical fitness, and increasing demand of home healthcare are boosting the demand of these devices. Diagnostic and monitoring devices are further segmented into vital sign monitoring devices, sleep monitoring devices, neuromonitoring devices, glucose monitoring devices and fetal monitoring and obstetric devices. Therapeutic devices are further segmented into insulin pumps, rehabilitation devices, respiratory therapy devices and pain management devices.
Insight by Type
There are majorly four types of wearable devices, activity monitors, patches, smartwatches and smart clothing. Increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases, growing awareness of fitness and health and growing implementation of sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle are some of the factors responsible for the growth of the activity monitor segment. Of all the types, the activity monitor is anticipated to account foremost share in the wearable medical devices market.
Insight by Application
The major applications of the wearable devices are remote patient monitoring, home healthcare and sports and fitness. Increasing emphasis on physical fitness to enhance quality of life and increasing inclination of tracking health progress are the factors growing the demand of sports and fitness wearable devices. Among the all applications, the sports and fitness is expected to command the wearable medical devices market.
Insight by Distribution Channel
The major distribution channels are pharmacies, hypermarket and online channel. Increasing inclination towards self-monitoring and non-invasive monitoring and diagnosis, and significant escalation in supply of wearable devices in pharmacies are some of the factors growing the demand of wearable devices in pharmacies. Of all the distribution channels the pharmacies are anticipated to account foremost share in the wearable medical devices market.
The increasing emphasis on physical fitness, mounting demand for wireless connectivity amongst healthcare providers and increasing number of smartphone based healthcare apps compatible with wearable devices are the primary growth drivers for wearable medical devices market. Moreover, technological advancement in medical wearable devices and increasing access of smartphone are also up surging the demand of wearable devices. These devices can help consumers to cope with their health, along with taking care of healthcare costs.
Increasing awareness and growing preference of home healthcare, and increasing demand for remote patient monitoring is also facilitating the growth for the wearable medical devices industry. Mounting healthcare cost and growing geriatric population has increased the need for remote patient monitoring. The remote patient monitoring improves health outcomes at minimum cost. Increasing prevalence of lifestyle associated diseases and increasing adoption of unhealthy lifestyle are also boosting the growth of the market. For instance, according to World Health Organization in 2015, approximately 1.6 million deaths were caused by diabetes.
The inadequate battery life, high cost of wearable device, data security issues, lack of reimbursements and complexity in the design of the device are the major challenges for the growth of wearable medical devices market. Increase in the usage of handheld devices globally, among healthcare professionals and patients has raised concerns for the security of private patient information. An unauthorized access to such systems through unlawful measures can provide access for controlling or destroying critical information stored in the systems.
The key challenge for the new entrants is the survival in capital intensive and highly regulated wearable medical devices market. In addition, there is less product differentiation offered by existing players, which further increases the competition among the existing players. Moreover, most of the medical device providers are adding wearable components to their product line.
Geographically, North America is the largest wearable medical devices market as in the region the healthcare infrastructure is developed. Technological advancement and development of vastly advanced healthcare app and compatible devices are also up surging growth of the North American wearable medical devices market. Moreover, increasing prevalence of lifestyle associated diseases and sedentary lifestyle and growing geriatric population are boosting the growth of the wearable market in North America.
Asia-Pacific is observed to witness the fastest growth in the market, as the region comprises of increasing adoption of smartphones, large population base, increasing prevalence of lifestyle associated diseases and favorable government support.
Key players in the wearable medical devices market are catering the demand of these devices by investing on technologically advanced products in their product portfolio across the globe. In January 2016, LifeWatch received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received for LifeWatch Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) Patch, a 1-lead ECG system, to monitor heartbeat for adverse cardiac event. In January 2018, Polar Electron partnered with Europeative, to promote healthy and active European lifestyle. Fitbit Inc., Koninklijke Philips N.V., Polar Electro, Drägerwerk, Nokia Technologies, World Global Network, VitalConnect, and Xiaomi are the some of the key players offering wearable medical devices.