The wearable technology market is booming, and GlobalData forecasts that the sector will grow 24.6% each year between 2020 and 2024, reaching a whopping $156 billion.
While this has so far been largely driven by consumer fitness trackers as people attempt to keep fit at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the leading data and analytics company notes that these devices are likely to play a much larger role in of medicine, healthcare sectors will advance.
Medical wearables can be used to detect heart rate, blood pressure and other vital signs. By sending this data to the cloud for real-time analysis, wearable medical devices can help with predictive diagnosis. For example, advising a patient to go to the hospital because of an irregular heartbeat.
Medical wearables are becoming more lucrative as the population ages
GlobalData’s latest report, “Internet of Things – Thematic Research,” shows that wearables are likely to play a larger role in the medical and healthcare sectors due to an aging world population, the increase in remote patient care and the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT). will play ) in hospitals.
Aidan Robertson, Medical Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The pandemic has not only demonstrated the significant value of wearable technology for the average consumer concerned about their general health, but has also highlighted the many advantages for use in hospitals.
“An automated remote monitoring system tracking vital signs has already been tested in the Netherlands to see if it can reduce patient visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the aging population puts an increasing strain on healthcare, products such as remote patient monitoring devices and mobile health apps become more lucrative.”
Medical wearables will appear in healthcare sooner than expected
As wearables become more common in healthcare, companies will allocate additional R&D spending towards wearable technology to capitalize on the increasing demand. Greater accuracy and collecting more reliable data will also be a focus.
Robertson continues: “In the past, wearables were not considered reliable enough for clinical applications or even general wellness monitoring. However, that sentiment is starting to change as technology becomes more advanced in terms of sensor accuracy.
“Research is even being done to examine its diagnostic potential. While there are still regulatory and technical hurdles to overcome in order for wearable devices to meet the standard required for direct clinical use, the industry will continue to make great strides and widespread healthcare deployments will come sooner than expected.”
Apple is the largest player in the hearables and smart watches segments
The smartwatches and hearables segments are the largest within the wearables market and have shown the most significant growth. Apple is the largest player in the hearables segment with a 36% market share in 2021 and in the smartwatch market with a 29% share in the second quarter of 2022.
Robertson adds, “Apple has steadily progressed into the medical wearables space since 2018, when the Apple Watch Series 4 first received FDA clearance for its ECG capabilities, making it a Class 2 medical device. Since then, FDA clearance has been granted for later versions of the product with similar ECG capabilities. Going forward, we can expect Apple to expand its presence in the cardiology wearables market in addition to its dominance in consumer wearables.”