The wearable tech market was worth nearly $27bn in 2019 and is likely to grow to $64bn by 2024 due to its increased awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic, including tracking disease contact, predict symptoms, and monitoring patients, according to a report by GlobalData.
Tina Deng, MSc, Senior Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData comments: “The pandemic greatly increased the awareness of wearable devices as their use cases increased. This has resulted in an increase in device innovation as more companies race to develop new ways to cash in and help limit the spread of the virus.”
However, Deng believes that COVID-19 will hit smartwatch shipments and revenues in 2020. The number of smartwatch shipments in 2020 will be 9% lower than in 2019, due to delays in production caused by COVID-19, according to GlobalData.
Furthermore, smartwatch revenues will decline by 10% in 2020, as the global recession resulting from the pandemic hits consumer spending. Compared with wearables with specific medical purposes, smartwatches for the general population are more vulnerable to the pandemic-related economic recession. Most consumers do not currently see significant value in smartwatches, primarily because most of the functionality available on smartwatches can already be found on smartphones. However, the current low penetration rate shows that there is plenty of scope for growth in the coming years, the GlobalData report said.
Wearables are impacting the healthcare industry by providing diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and prevention. Wearables are routinely being used for personalization, early diagnosis, remote patient monitoring, adherence to medication, information libraries, and better decision-making while reducing healthcare costs.
“Growing demand and functionality has gathered the attention of insurers and companies in the supply of wearable health technology to consumers and employees for their wide-ranging benefits. As a result, the wearable technology market will grow robustly in the foreseeable future,” Deng adds.