Wearable technology has gained momentum in the past few years. Changing lifestyle of young people demands connectivity. The health care segment accounts for a major share of the wearable technology market, considering the innovations in several applications in this area in the last two decades. While a smartphone remains the choice of the global population, the tech world is constructing a future of wearable devices that promises consumers to help them live healthier lives, Mobile phones having wearable sensors embedded in it, and implanted medical devices can help monitor and manage the health. Technology companies interested in health and wellness have introduced various products in the wearable medical devices market including bands, wristwatches, chest and straps that are user-friendly, compact, and noninvasive. In 2013, Google Inc. introduced Google Glass, an eyewear that is highly dynamic. It can be used in various applications across industries. Technology has proven to be a boon for the medical community.
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A wearable medical device is an autonomous, non-invasive device that accomplishes medical functions such as monitoring and support over an extended period. The term wearable indicates that the support environment is either clothing or human body. These devices help to monitor activity and sleep patterns. Some of the wearable medical devices also help to detect body temperature, hydration level, heart rate, etc. Wearable medical devices, therefore, help in managing the treatment of chronic diseases such as asthma, heart diseases, and diabetes. The data produced by these devices is frequently supported with analytics. This information can be used by health care organizations to improve care and potentially decrease the cost.
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Based on type of diagnostic device, the wearable medical devices market has been classified into vital sign monitors, fetal monitors and obstetric devices, and neuromonitoring devices. Based on type of therapeutic device, the market has been segmented into pain management devices, glucose/insulin monitoring devices, and respiratory therapy devices. Wearable vital sign monitors are devices that measure the most important functions of the body such as body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse rate. The wearable heart rate monitors segment holds the largest share of the market due to rise in obesity among the population and increase in awareness about fitness. Additionally, therapeutic wearable medical devices have reduced physician visits and have improved medical service in terms of time and quality. The pain management devices segment is likely to hold the largest share of the wearable medical devices market in terms of revenue in 2014. This is due to increase in the number of patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, and migraine and rise in the geriatric population.
Based on application, the wearable medical devices market has been classified into sports and fitness, remote patient monitoring, and home health care. Rise in the prevalence of chronic diseases across the globe and increase in awareness about health and fitness among the population are likely to drive the sports and fitness application segment.
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Geographically, the wearable medical devices market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. North America accounted for the largest share of the wearable medical devices market due to increasing number of early adopters, development of innovative devices, and rise in awareness about physical fitness and health. However, the wearable medical devices market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness the fastest growth rate during the forecast period due to increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and emerging economies in this region. However, factors such as high cost of devices and reimbursement of wearable devices can hinder the growth of the wearable medical devices market.
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