As life expectancy increases around the world, medical device companies must address the growing needs of the elderly population. A recent report by GlobalData, The Aging Population and Medical Devices, examined this demographic shift and its impact on the medical device market, including home care devices, assistive devices and wearable devices. Overall, devices that allow seniors to live more independently at their own place of residence are in demand.
Assistive devices aid and support the elderly in improving their quality of life and regaining independence and confidence. They can compensate for a variety of different acquired disabilities and include a range of devices, from wheelchairs and hearing aids to robotics.
As the population ages, the market for assistive technology grows. For example, the value of the hearing implant market is expected to reach $3.1bn by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4%. While the market was negatively impacted by Covid-19 in 2020, there was a surge in sales last year.
Although old age brings more acute health problems and increases reliance on healthcare systems, the preference for ageing at home has continued to increase. Home care devices, as well as wearable and remote monitoring devices, can assist with this challenge.
Wearable devices can monitor a variety of health metrics, including blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and blood sugar. They can also detect falls and send alerts to facilitate independent living. Potential barriers for adoption by seniors include cost, access to the internet, digital literacy and disabilities such as visual and hearing impairment, which could interfere with device usage.