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The healthcare wearables market is expected to be the hottest segment in the global healthcare industry, with smart wearable device sales poised for rapid growth. Smart watches, fitness trackers, body sensors and other personal portable medical devices powered by wearable technology are effectively transforming the focus of healthcare from treatment to monitoring and prevention.
Healthcare wearables are widely used for monitoring health, physical performance, brain activity and other medical aspects. Unlike the bulky medical devices currently used in hospitals and clinics, most smart healthcare wearables are ultra-thin and ultra-soft sensors with functions including data monitoring, analytics, and even real-time treatment.
According to the recent Wearable Device Market Forecasts report from Tractica, global wearable device shipments are expected to increase from 118 million units in 2016 to 430 million by 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 24%. The growth is mainly driven by demand for healthcare applications such as glucose sweat sensors, wearable stethoscopes, and asthma monitoring patches.
Within the $25 billion global wearables market, the healthcare wearables market accounts for US$6.8 billion as reported by ABI Research. This segment is likely to exceed revenues of US$10 billion by 2022
Currently, fitness trackers and smart watches remain the largest device segments for healthcare wearables, accounting for more than 80% of shipments in 2016, with their share projected to drop to 50% by 2022. Body sensors are expected to be the third largest wearable device segment by 2022, driven largely by wearable patches used in healthcare applications, with body sensor shipments reaching 92.1 million by 2022.
Healthcare and health-focused applications are also expected to significantly drive future growth in the global smart wearables market. Wearable device companies that look beyond fitness and activity tracking and place more emphasis on preventing and managing chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart problems are projected to achieve greater success in the future. Industry experts believe that chronic health management, in both the professional healthcare and general consumer settings, will further facilitate the growth of healthcare wearables in the near future.
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