Healthcare Wearable Device Shipments to Reach 98 Million Units Annually by 2021

Fitness Trackers, Connected Wearable Patches, and Smart Watches Will All Play a Prominent Role in the Growing Use of Wearables for Health and Wellness

Healthcare wearables are a key part of the ongoing evolution of the broader wearables market, as they move from being fitness devices to being able to directly impact medical conditions, improve diagnosis and care, and ultimately save lives.  Wearable devices are starting to be employed for a wide range of healthcare-related applications including treatment of chronic disease, remote patient monitoring, eldercare, and wellness programs, to name a few.  The types of wearables being utilized include well-known devices such as fitness trackers and smart watches, but also emerging categories such as connected wearable patches, pain management devices, wrist devices, and posture monitors, among many others.

According to a new report from Tractica, worldwide shipments for healthcare wearables will increase from 2.5 million in 2016 to 97.6 million units annually by 2021.  By the end of that period, the market intelligence firm forecasts that the global healthcare wearables market will account for $17.8 billion in yearly revenue.

HCW-16 chart

“The market for healthcare wearables is very much in its infancy, though there is a considerable amount of activity across the healthcare value chain,” says research director Aditya Kaul.  “Wearables are being seen as an extension of the digital transformation of healthcare, helping pharmaceutical companies to expand clinical trials, enabling insurance companies to engage with customers by incentivizing healthier living, helping healthcare providers to improve the delivery of healthcare, and empowering patients by providing them access to their own health data.”

Kaul adds that the market faces a number of remaining challenges related to sensor accuracy, consumer confidence, user experience optimization, customer education, and regulatory hurdles.

Tractica’s report, “Wearable Devices for Healthcare Markets”, covers the market for healthcare wearables, providing comprehensive coverage of the various healthcare wearable device types, their specific roles, and adoption timelines within healthcare. The devices covered include smart watches, smart glasses, fitness trackers, smart footwear, smart apparel, posture monitors, movement sensors, wrist devices, heart straps, headbands, wearable patches, wearable cameras, pain management and delivery pods. The report also includes market sizing and forecasts from 2015 through 2021, providing shipments and revenues. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

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