Global Market for Internet of Things (IoT) Sensors in Healthcare Estimated to Reach $1.9 billion by 2022
Market to Achieve 12.5% CAGR, Despite Constraints
By Michael Sullivan
Rising healthcare costs, population aging and the need for medical diagnosis and treatment in developing and underdeveloped regions are driving the sensor market in medical applications. In addition, various economies throughout the world are expected to continue to drive trends in the market for sensors in medical applications, from both a growth perspective and technology/product advancement perspective.
Sensors play an important role in enhancing safety and improving the quality of life in the healthcare arena due to their inherent accuracy, intelligence, capability, reliability, small size and low power consumption—all of which are expanding their use in medical applications. Sensors can increase the intelligence of life-supporting implants and sensors can be employed for identifying advanced symptoms and preventing serious illnesses.
The slower rate of penetration of advanced medical systems in developing regions remains a key constraint for the market. Educating end users and creating awareness of the benefits and roles of advanced sensors in preventing illness and saving lives can boost the penetration rate.
In addition, as the prices of advanced medical sensors decrease and they become more affordable, their penetration rate will increase in developing and underdeveloped regions.
Implantable sensors, self-powered sensors (e.g., sensors that convert body movement to mechanical energy and muscle stretching into electricity), biosensors, micro-electromechanical silicon (MEMS) and nanosensors are expected to revolutionize the healthcare industry in the next decade.
There has been high demand for many different types of sensors for medical applications due to their numerous uses, such as detecting and measuring physical, mechanical, chemical and electromagnetic parameters. As many different parameters need to be monitored, several types of sensors are used in medical applications. From the simplest (monitoring body temperature) to the most complex (MEG/MCG systems) applications, pressure, temperature, flow, encoder, superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), accelerometer and image sensors as well as biosensors are used. Biosensors generate the bulk of total revenue.
IoT sensors can be used to enable remote health monitoring and emergency notification systems.
These health monitoring devices can range from blood pressure and heart rate monitors to advanced devices capable of monitoring specialized implants, such as pacemakers or advanced hearing aids. Specialized sensors can also be equipped within living spaces to monitor the health and general well-being of senior citizens, while also ensuring that proper treatment is being administered, helping people regain lost mobility via therapy. Other consumer devices to encourage healthy living, such as connected scales or wearable heart monitors, are also enabled via IoT sensors.
In regard to market competition, several sensor vendors with technical expertise are actively competing and catering to the demanding medical industry. However, sensor manufacturers face several challenges and restraints, especially when catering to medical applications. The challenges include slower penetration in developing regions, price pressure, lack of awareness, complying with various regulations, product development time, increasing communication and product safety and reliability, and battery power management. Despite these challenges and restraints, the market for sensors in medical applications is expected to continue to experience revenue growth.
What makes an IoT Sensor?
While sensors are clearly defined overall, sensors that are related to the IoT are less distinct. Sensors can be defined as devices that detect events or changes in the environment. These detector sensors are integrated with an output sensor that communicates the results of the detection to a computer or another sensor. An actuator may use the data provided by the sensor to control or trigger an event, or the data may simply be stored and recorded for analysis.
Two key characteristics that define IoT sensors are:
- The ability to connect sensors to an ever-expanding network of computers and aggregate the output of their detection data.
- The ability to access a sensor easily for data recording or event purposes from virtually anywhere.
These two characteristics are rapidly broadening sensor applications from local and contextual applications to systems and network-wide functions. New capabilities are coming to the fore at a time when sensors already have greatly expanded capabilities.
This article is an excerpt from the BCC Research market report Internet of Things (IoT) Sensors in Healthcare: Global Markets and Technologies (IFT152A). Looking for more information on the global market for IoT sensors in healthcare? Download an overview of this report.