The global medical automation market was valued at US$ 43 billion in 2013, and it is expected to expand at a steady pace in the next decade. Rising healthcare costs have necessitated the use of affordable, cost-effective systems, giving an impetus to the medical automation market. Demand for glucose meters and pregnancy test kits is currently witnessing a surge, with hospitals and clinics accounting for the bulk of the demand.
Medical automation systems can improve efficiency and help reduce errors, and these have been key features that are driving adoption of these devices. Government support for medical automation devices has also helped boost their adoption; however, stringent regulations on their use have posed challenges to manufacturers.
Medical automation systems find their use in a wide range of applications; for the sake of simplicity, these are broadly categorised into therapeutic, and lab and pharmacy.
In the therapeutic application segment, the market can be broadly classified into surgical and non-surgical equipment. Currently, the demand for surgical equipment is robust, and it is anticipated to remain so in the near future. Let’s take a look at the key trends in the medical automation market.
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- Adoption of Wearable Devices Growing
Although Apple Watch may be the first thing one thinks of when talking about wearables, but this growing technology has a wide range of benefits in addition to entertainment. Hospitals are using wearable technology for early diagnosis and monitor the progress of their patients. Although adoption of these devices across healthcare institutions is at an early stage, it holds massive potential, as could be seen from CareMore, a Medicare company in California that has incorporated automated software and devices in their operations.
- Incorporation of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is being used in the healthcare industry to get access to medical history of a patient. The electronic medical records (EMR) system is enabling healthcare professionals in assessing the history of the patient, helping them make more accurate diagnosis. One of the key advantages of incorporating artificial intelligence is the availability of important insights to healthcare professionals. Artificial intelligence is also helping the medical sector in determining which patients are at a higher risk of certain diseases. As AI takes into account the genetics information, the probability of high-risk to certain diseases is easily available to healthcare professionals.
- Addressing Appeals and Grievances
Addressing appeals and grievances is often looked upon as a cumbersome process in healthcare institutions. However, adoption of automated systems offers a feasible and efficient case management mechanism that can help medical centres in saving time and money.
Region-wise, North America is the largest market for automated devices and software in the healthcare industry. Automation is gaining traction in North America’s healthcare sector, owing to push by venture capitalists, who are looking at it as a highly lucrative avenue. Western Europe and Asia Pacific are the other key regions in the global medical automation market.
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The key players operating in the medical automation market include Omnicell, Inc, Intuitive Surgical Inc., Stanley Black and Decker, Inc, Swisslog Holdings AG, Philips Healthcare, , St. Jude Medical, Medtronic, Inc., Accuray, Inc., Roche Holding AG, Asahi Kasei Corp, GE Healthcare, Beckman Coulter, Inc., CAE, Ltd, Carefusion Corp, Lifescan, Inc., Siemens HealthcareInc., Stryker Corporation, Simsurgery As, Parata Systems LLC and others.