The portable medical devices market encompasses all healthcare associated diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices that are miniature in nature and can be easily transported from one location to another without any inconveniences. The market for portable devices has evolved greatly over the years particularly due to miniaturization of electronic components. Low power consumption technology has also greatly helped in developing portable technologies. As the world has begun shrinking due to increased connectivity, telemedicine, home-care and remote monitoring have become familiar terms with modern healthcare. Several factors led to the increasing need for portable devices, of which the major impact factors include increasing demand for diagnostics in remote areas of the world where a significant population continues to reside, increasing number of emergency medical services such as ambulances and helicopters that are required to be well equipped, military medicine for on-field applications and aging population that has begun to feel the pressure of moving to and fro from hospitals for simple diagnostic procedures. In a field like healthcare, the upcoming markets such as wearable medical devices and smart wearable sensors have culminated in the large revenue generation since the past several years which is expected to continue in the coming years as well.
Several government initiatives to reduce the hospitalization time for patients has begun over the world and particularly in North America primarily enforced due to high healthcare expenditure that the government has had to endure. Re-hospitalization may be investigated by government to understand if there has been a shortfall from medical experts that led to re-hospitalization and may result in the medical expert being penalized along with the hospital. Thus portable medical devices will play a major role to reduce healthcare expenditure and increase space in hospitals by freeing beds for serious patients.
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The market can be perceived and segmented through various aspects such as the general medical application such as cardiovascular, urological, neurological etc. Pacemakers, defibrillators, heart rate monitors, electrocardiographs and dialyzers are some portable devices available today. Increased wireless capabilities with the help of networking technologies such as Bluetooth, LAN, and WAN have also led to a significant rise in the portable technologies market. This increase in connectivity and safety has led to the inception of new consumer markets of medical devices that do not require intensive training. Portable devices such as activity monitors and heart-rate monitors are increasingly popular with all ages of people and are also used in veterinary science. A large number of companies such as Nike, Adidas, BodyMedia, Lark Jawbone, Polar, Fitbit, Sketchers and Scosche have ventured and gained considerable success in this field.
Larger diagnostic machines such as bone densitometers and blood pressure monitors became popular due to the use in remote areas for monitoring health of villagers and non-urban population due to low awareness.In contrast, urban areas such as cities have seen increasing demand for complex portable medical devices such as defibrillators for usage in offices, public areas such as parks and railway stations due to rising incidence of sudden cardiac arrest, heart attacks and other cardiovascular ailments. Companies manufacturing this automated external defibrillators and bone-densitometers include GE Healthcare, Hologic, Philips, Cooper Surgical, HeartSine, Sorin Group, Zoll Medical, PhysioControl, Schiller AG and Cardiac Science.
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In terms of geography this market is distributed into four major regions of North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World of which North America accounts for a significant portion mainly due to a large number of companies manufacturing portable medical devices and equipment. Along with this, a greater amount of marketing takes place in the region which increases the awareness. Europe is also a significant market for devices such as defibrillators, home monitoring and remote patient monitoring along with on-field medical devices. Asia-Pacific market is expected to rise tremendously in coming years due to increasing awareness, connectivity and availability of portable medical devices. This will be further supplemented by the downward trend of cost of these devices which will result in a greater affordability. Rest of the World region will soon follow suit with Asia-Pacific as emerging economies such as Brazil, Middle-East and North African countries are already exhibiting greater purchasing power of portable medical devices.