Tractica Forecast that sales of IoT Wearable including patches, tattoos or small devices affixed to the skin, will reach $7.9 billion in revenue by 2022
Tractica has released its report, “Connected Wearable Patches” in which they analyze demand trends, industry players and technology issues related to IoT wearable patches. These patches include all kind of devices, sensors or even “electronic” tattoos attached to the human skin. Other devices with a larger form factor (some cardiac telemetry devices, implantable devices like cardiac pacemakers, continuous insulin pumps, etc. are not included within the scope of this report.
Though the study researchers most of the medical and nonmedical applications, it focusses on The report focuses on three leading use cases for connected wearable patches:
- medical monitoring, detection, and diagnosis
- medication management and treatment
- health, wellness, and prevention.
According to Tractica’s report, the shipment of clinical and non-clinical connected wearable patches in 2017 represents less than a million units, and it is projected to reach more than 35 million by 2022. The report concludes that 80% of total IoT wearable patches will be related to clinical applications, as shown in the figure above.
The IoT Wearable Patches market is in the early stages
Health, wellness, and prevention applications are still in the very early stages. However, use cases are growing. Large brands are looking for ways to stay connected to their customers post-purchase and in the future, connected wearable patches may help fill this need. To date, this area is still niche with some offerings in the beauty, ultraviolet (UV) detection, and sports & fitness areas.
And though there are proven technologies and relevant drivers for adoption, the undeveloped ecosystem is limiting the potential growth
The largest drivers for the adoption and growth of connected wearable patches include the increase in chronic diseases, an aging population, ease of use, better health outcomes, lower costs, and the potential for an increase in medication adherence. While awareness and acceptance are increasing, particularly in the medical market, some barriers to growth will need to be addressed. While much of the technology is tested and ready for implementation, deployment has gone very slowly and the supporting systems to launch the products and be accepted are still lagging. The ecosystem is young with many companies still focusing on perfecting and trialing their products. Overall, the undeveloped ecosystem, long development cycles, technology limitations, such as battery life, and the ability to assuage consumer and medical professional concerns over security, privacy, and data usage are barriers that will need to be removed.
Regarding companies competing in this niche area, Tractica summarizes its player analysis:
Companies of all sizes are entering the market from both the technology and healthcare fields. Philips, Medtronic, Qualcomm, and Abbot Labs are all key players in this market. Samsung Health has developed a Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-approved device called the S-Patch; Apple is rumored to be entering the glucose monitoring space; and Verily has partnered with Dexcom for patch form factor and technology development. Pharmaceutical companies such as Otsuka Pharmaceuticals are also partnering with providers in this space. Smaller market entrants, such as Bloomlife, TempTraq, and Kenzen offer solutions geared to the consumer market, but with future clinical applications.