This is according to Research firm TrendForce, which forecasts soaring growth for the global medical device market as the healthcare and ICT industries converge.
Juniper Research estimates the adoption of health monitoring devices will nearly treble by 2020, exceeding 70 million worldwide, up from an estimated 26 million this year.
Key growth drivers of this market include growing adoption rate of computerised physician order entry, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, growing global patient base, and technological advancements in this field, says Grand View research.
However, Markets and Markets says lack of in-house IT domain knowledge and reluctance among end users to adopt new methods are expected to restrain the overall market growth to a certain extent.Jason Huang, TrendForce's research manager for the healthcare industry, says new technologies have significantly enhanced the capabilities of medical devices.
"Concepts such as smart systems, electronic medical records and medical Internet of things are transforming the fundamentals of the global medical device industry."
The integration of ICT and healthcare will create solutions outside the confines of traditional hospitals and clinics, says TrendForce.
Home healthcare devices, wearable medical devices, and telehealth are some of the applications that resulted from such integration, it adds.
According to Trendforce, the scale of the telehealth market in particular will exceed US$7 billion by 2020.
In addition to the expansion of applications, the convergence of ICT and medical device industries will also result in cross-sector innovations, it adds.
For instance, some of the new entrants to the medical device market traditionally belong to other industries such as information technology, advanced materials, precision manufacturing, optoelectronics and imaging technology.
In the near future, inter-industry efforts will be crucial in the development of healthcare products and services, including medical imaging, clinical medical electronics and minimally invasive surgery.
ICT companies have certain technological advantages when it comes to developing medical device products, but they also face challenges from established players in the healthcare industry.
Currently, a few multinational corporations control upwards of 70% of the medical device market in many countries, says Huang.
ICT companies branching into this field will encounter many difficulties, he notes, adding to survive, ICT companies entering the healthcare market need to design their roadmaps in advance.
Juniper Research says there is a need for new entrants to prove that their hardware is able to measure health indicators with the same accuracy as standard medical devices.
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