The demand for wearable medical devices and remote patient monitoring systems is increasing, and the global market is expected to reach $612 billion in the next eight years, according to a new report from San Francisco-based Grand View Research.
The report outlined a number of reasons for growth in the market, which was valued at over $123 billion in 2015 (dominated by North America, with 39 percent of the market share). First, consumers want these devices and companion apps for the ability to create personalized healthcare plans and take part in management of both chronic conditions and overall wellness.
“Mass adoption of mHealth devices and the introduction of technologically advanced product designs are anticipated to spur the demand,” the report outlined. “…the focused approach towards adoption of the Internet of Things devices and wearable medical devices, which include sensors and mobile communications devices, is expected to further drive the industry growth in the future.”
Plus, providers and plans want greater access to patient health information, not only to create more coordinated care, but also to account for inefficiencies within their own systems. The report found hospitals dominated the end-use segment as of 2015 with market revenue of over $49 billion due to the increasing adoption rate of EHR records and remote patient monitoring systems.
“The advantages associated with [connected device] usage and the availability of advanced products, such as remote sensors, adapters and connected mobile communication devices, are factors further augmenting the market growth,” the report said.
Additionally, government and non-profit organizations are creating more opportunities for digital health solutions to flourish, such as the Health Research and Quality (AHRQ)’s offering of funds to expand health information systems. There have also been research initiatives such as the Project Catalyst in 2015 between AARP, Pfizer and United Healthcare that looked at the usability of digital health devices for the older population, which ties into the report’s outlook that a growing focus on remote monitoring on the geriatric population will lead to more market growth.
The report looked at several key areas of growth. Healthcare IT, which has the largest share of the overall market with over 46 percent in 2015, owes its growth to the increasing need to meet regulatory compliances and initiatives taken by the government. There are also indications that the healthcare analytics segment will show “lucrative growth over the forecast period”, owing to the rising pressure on hospitals to curb spiraling healthcare costs, access to big data analytics, and the penetration of electronic health record systems in medical settings.
The wellness product segment, which currently accounts for 45 percent of the market, is expected to grow significantly, as evidenced by the current consumer demand for products like health-monitoring smartwatches, activity trackers like the ever-expanding offerings of Fitbit, and even mindfulness devices like Spire.
“Furthermore, the rising online subscriptions and downloading of health information as a consequence of the increased health consciousness amongst individuals are additional factors expected to propel the segment growth in the next seven years,” the report said.
And, while attention to health and wellness is becoming more widespread, incidences of lifestyle-associated diseases that required continuous monitoring (like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular illnesses) are still rising. Technologically advanced personal medical devices to address this problem, like continuous glucose monitoring systems and connected inhalers, will also contribute to overall growth under the preference to reduce hospital stays and reduce costs of treatment. This individual consumer segment is expected to reach over $200 billion by 2024, the report said.
The report nodded to key players like McKesson Corporation, Fitbit, Medtronic, Apple and Philips Healthcare, the latter of which just released its suite of connected health devices on a global scale.
“These market players are focusing on the development of cost-efficient and technologically advanced devices, which offer comfort to the users,” the report stated. “New product development and strategic alliances, including partnership agreements, promotional activities and acquisitions are instrumental in keeping market rivalry high.”