The wearable medical devices market is expected to reach USD 14.41 Billion by 2022 from USD 5.31 Billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 18.3% during the forecast period.
Growing awareness and preference for home healthcare
The home healthcare market has witnessed significant growth in the recent years primarily due to the rising geriatric population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the availability of advanced medical devices (including wearable medical devices) that are enabling the delivery of quality care in non-hospital settings. This has resulted in better patient compliance, proactive treatments, improved patient satisfaction, and improved care quality. This approach also helps reduce the cost of hospital stay, as monitoring and diagnosis can be done at home.
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Considering its affordability and convenience, the preference for home healthcare has increased significantly, especially among elderly patients. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), people with disabilities aged between 50 to 64 years prefer staying at home over staying at nursing homes. Moreover, 73.0% of patients suffering from disabilities who require 24-hour care prefer home care services. In December 2015, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that from 2014 to 2024, the CAGR for home healthcare services is expected to be about 5.0%, the highest among all industries. This is expected to offer significant opportunities for marketing various wearable devices – such a blood pressure meters without cuffs, ECG monitors with Bluetooth connectivity, and ring-type heart rate monitors – to customers. Thus, rising awareness related to home healthcare is expected to serve as an opportunity for players in the wearable medical devices market.
Limited battery life
Long battery life is an essential feature for wearable medical devices, which must function continuously to monitor and track the health information of users. Considering this, limited battery life poses a major challenge for manufacturers of wearable medical devices. This is because long-lasting batteries are larger and heavier as compared to batteries that frequently require charging. Wearable devices are efficient when they are lightweight and smaller sized. Hence, installing large and heavy batteries in these devices proves counterproductive for manufacturers. To counter this challenge, a number of research projects are focusing on developing advanced batteries with a longer life, such as aluminum graphite batteries, solid-state batteries, and flexible batteries. At present, limited battery life serves as a challenge for players in the wearable medical devices market.
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