As the story goes, when the notorious Willy Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he replied “Because that’s where the money is!” In the wearable Health Tech market, the mainstream media pays a lot of attention to the fitness bands and smart watches, but it may well be that some real money is someplace else. A new industry report by RNCOS based in India projects rapid growth for the “wearable medical device market.” According to their forecasts, the segment is set to grow from $1.4 billion worldwide to $4.6 billion in 2020.
The report includes non-invasive sensing devices, typically used to monitor chronic diseases outside of a clinical setting such as hospitals. They provide some local processing and can deliver feedback to the user. They also can communicate with other devices, sending their data to cloud-based services for storage, analysis, and reporting. The report cites several factors driving the growth, including more health-conscious users and the rise of chronic conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Another factor is the need to control healthcare costs and produce better treatment outcomes more efficiently.
As might be expected, North America is the largest market for this segment, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. However, the Asia-Pacific region could eventually become the leading market, given the growth of chronic illness in that area.