Sensors for Home Healthcare Applications: Market & Technology Analysis

From 2000 - 2050, the proportion of the world's population aged 60 and over will grow from about 16% to 25% - an increase linked to a marked growth of chronic diseases (Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancers, etc.).

Healthcare systems' rising costs and a physicians' shortage are paving the way for increased home care. Sensors previously developed for non-medical applications are transitioning to home care applications, and the market for sensors dedicated to home care applications is poised to grow from $559M in 2013 to $1.2B by 2018.

During research, the following sensors were investigated: accelerometers, barometers, electrochemical biosensors, flow sensors, gyroscopes, humidity sensors, IR temperature sensors, magnetometers, microfluidic chips, microphones, photodetectors, pressure sensors, proximity IR sensors, RF MEMS, RFID, and strain sensors. For each sensors, this Home Care Report provides market data and unit/value forecasts. Collectively, these sensors have numerous applications in the home care market, from fall detection systems to tremor monitoring in Parkinson's disease. Today, the three most-used sensors are photodetectors, pressure sensors and electrochemical sensors.

A highly segmented market

Home care, also called home healthcare, refers to the at-home care provided to a person with special needs. This includes people who are ageing, chronically ill, recovering from surgery, or disabled. Transferring a patient from a hospital to his/her home implies a relocation of care systems. In order to maintain the same level of care quality with less human involvement, home care sensors are vital replacements for specific applications ordinarily performed by nurses, such as guaranteeing the patient's comfort, ensuring their safety, monitoring body parameters and treatments, and drug delivery.

Using a disruptive segmentation, analysts have gathered all of the information necessary for understanding each application's market needs. For each segment, current and future medical devices and their related sensors are presented in the report. Moreover, innovative products are presented, along with key integrators. ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) are critical ICT are becoming integral to home care applications, both for delivering and providing accessibility to healthcare for home-based patients with chronic illness.

Although in recent years ICT have been increasingly used in healthcare, inter-country efforts have become fragmented, and could benefit from improved cross-border coordination. This report describes how ICT systems work, the benefits and drawbacks to using ICT in home care, and ICT's remaining key challenges. Speaking of these remaining challenges, there's still a ways to go in order to improve infrastructure and personal communication devices. Our report lists several examples of companies/devices that are facilitating the necessary improvements.

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