Source: Today’s medical developments
Wearable technology has reached its peak in recent years. When we talk about the wearables market, we usually think of activity tracking, smart watches and devices such as Google Glasses, GoPro or Apple Watch. While it is defined as accessories and clothing incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies, it can have an impact far beyond typical consumer uses, namely into medical applications.
Health is considered to be the main motivator behind the purchase of a smart wearable (PWC). For example, 85% of parents surveyed for the PWC The Wearable Life 2.0 study believe that an increase in wearable technology can primarily improve their health. Moreover, according to a recent Endeavour Partners survey, the most successful wearables are those designed to help diagnose, monitor, and treat specific conditions that cannot be addressed by a smartphone app. Medical wearables address specific problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, heart arrhythmia, pain management, breast cancer, and various other ailments. Instead of tracking information on a cell phone, the data is compiled by clinicians to offer a diagnosis, help with patient management, and aid studies.
The increasing prevalence of diseases requiring round-the-clock monitoring is another key trend driver in the wearable medical device market. Specifically, patient monitoring, home healthcare, and health and fitness are key factors behind this trend, according to Future Market Insights. Additionally, technological advancements and attractive product features such as smartphone connectivity also help to promote the adoption of medical wearables.
Medical wearables can detect life-threatening conditions, collect biometric data to help with patient diagnoses, administer medicine to alleviate pain and thus serve a mission-critical purpose. Because of that, medical wearables have to comply with very stringent safety and accuracy standards, making them more difficult to adopt to broader use. Medical wearables have the ability to help patients that would not have thought that a reduction in the impact of their condition was possible. The GyroGlove, for example, is designed for Parkinson’s patients. It uses gyroscopes to resist a person’s hand movement, dampening any tremors.
Despite strict regulations, the global wearable medical device market value was estimated at US $22,891.5 million in 2015, and is expected to expand at a 6.9% CAGR over the forecast period from 2016 to 2026 (Future Market Insights). The devices could not only help to save millions of lives, but also prevent illnesses at a very early stage and improve the health of users.
As the market is growing along with a number of startups in the industry, we believe that focusing on health tracking and providing necessary aid for people with health problems is a promising market niche for new startups.