The growing demand for quality healthcare has revolutionised the health monitoring space through use of wearable and ingestible sensors. Emphasis on preventive health has lead to the development of prognostic sensors for applications in medical space. This has lead to the shift of healthcare business model from a diagnostic one to more prognostic and preventive health and wellness. Sensor adoption is crucial to this evolution, facilitating advanced diagnostics, treatment, and patient monitoring. Wearable and implantable biosensors will emerge as the key enablers for device innovation, as well as will be commercialised as prognostic tools.
"The Internet of Medical Things will lead to sensors playing a greater role in offering connected healthcare infrastructure," said Measurement and Instrumentation Industry Principal Dr. Rajender Thusu. "However, there are no clear policies or standardisations yet that companies can adhere to while implementing the connected health platform. The greatest challenge, therefore, lies in bringing together different applications under the same working platform, when individual solutions lack interoperability."
Global Sensors Market in Healthcare and Medical Applications, Forecast to 2022, recent research from Frost & Sullivan's Sensors & Instrumentation Growth Partnership Service programme, examines different sensors in use and under development for healthcare and medical applications. Along with market, technology and economic trends, the study looks at the competitive landscape for existing participants and scope for entrants. The study covers wired and wireless sensor types, such as pressure, temperature, flow, accelerometer, image, squid, encoder, biosensor, humidity, force, magnetic, infrared, gas, inertial, optical, motion and alcohol, and others, which are used in clinical and health applications. Biosensors applications covered include point-of-care diagnostics, therapeutics, drug discovery, human genomes, protein detection, and genetic analysis.
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The sensors market for healthcare is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.1 percent from 2016 to 2022. Market majors such as GE Healthcare, Honeywell, Philips, and STMicroelectronics are investing heavily in internal research and development initiatives to comply with quality specifications and develop a connected health platform that can tackle interoperability issues. Collaborating with universities and independent research organisations offers a way to create standards for seamless connectivity.
"The other challenge that sensor manufacturers must tackle is the breakneck speed of medical research; billions of dollars are ploughed into developing invasive and non-invasive techniques to detect and treat patients suffering from new diseases caused by evolving pathogens," noted Measurement and Instrumentation Industry Analyst Nandini Bhattacharya. "Sensors must keep pace with these requirements."
Overall, the growth opportunities for sensors in healthcare and medical applications are expanding:
- The transition of patient care from hospital to home offers strong opportunities in the home diagnostic and consumer healthcare segments.
- Explosive growth in wearables will be mirrored in the demand for sensors.
- Biosensors will be in demand for test applications for glucose, A1C, cholesterol, drugs of abuse, infectious disease, and pregnancy. The segment already accounts for more than 50 percent of the total global market share and will continue its robust growth.
- The market provides strong opportunities for low-cost sensor manufacturers and startups offering innovative products for emerging applications.
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