5 Trends Driving Sensor Development for the Medical Industry

5 Trends Driving Sensor Development for the Medical Industry

5 Trends Driving Sensor Development for the Medical Industry

A revolution is taking place on the medical scene, accelerating sensor development for an increasingly complex medical industry. The sensor industry is taking notice and adapting quickly to enable new therapies, new ways of delivering care and monitoring patients’ health.

The demand for medical applications for disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment that are intelligent, accurate, reliable, affordable, and small is driving the rise of the global medical equipment market size. The U.S medical device market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% to reach $217.1 billion by 2025, while the European one is expected to reach $61B by 2025, at a CAGR 4.7%, according to the BCC Medical Devices: Technologies and Global Markets report.

At the heart of each of these medical devices, are a variety of sensor technologies. From oxygen concentrators to CPAP machines, ventilators, and many others, sensors embedded in medical devices can be used to improve the accuracy and speed up diagnosis, help in the treatment of patients or ensure equipment safety.

Behind the accelerated growth of the global medical equipment market size there are several trends which are pushing forward innovative approaches to sensing in healthcare.


1.      An aging population. According to the United Nations, there will be 1.5 billion older persons in 2050 worldwide. The percentage of older population in individual countries will be considerable: 22% in the U.S. by 2050[1], 38% in Japan by 2060[2], and 32.2% in Europe by 2050[3]. They will require some sort of therapy or care, most often delivered at home. The home medical equipment market size is expected to grow up to $56,457  million by 2027.


2.      The rising prevalence of chronic diseases in young people[4]. An increasing number of young, active people are being diagnosed with diseases that require new therapies to fit with their active lifestyle. Chronic diseases usually seen in the elderly are also impacting young people’s lifestyles, and therapies will have to be designed to be mobile, personalized, disposable, and easy-to-use even by non-medical personnel.


3.      Pandemic-driven adoption of telemedicine. Patients are moving away from traditional healthcare settings for convenience or other reasons. As a result, more therapies and devices are designed to be personalized, mobile, easy to use even by non-medical personnel, and disposable.


4.      The need for more accurate and highly functional sensors. Patients demand and require faster diagnosis and treatments, while healthcare professionals want quick, reliable, and accurate diagnostic results to reduce patient recovery times and reduce costs. This means sensors that can measure force, pressure, humidity, temperature and airflow with greater accuracy and reliability. At the same time, medical equipment designers want more than just a sensor. They are looking for integrated functionality which can provide improved performance and reliability.


5.      Smaller and smarter. New therapies and devices will be developed to improve the quality of life and enable better patient outcomes. Sensors combined with artificial intelligence will gather health data to enable patients to lead healthier lifestyles, while new home medical devices will help patients identify symptoms and prevent illnesses. All these will drive the development of wearable technology to collect user data on personal health and exercise and the miniaturization of components and sensors to enable mobile applications.

Honeywell is developing new innovative sensing technology for tomorrow’s medical devices. Check out Honeywell’s entire sensing portfolio, from pressure, force, temperature, position and speed to airflow and gas sensors.


[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/457822/share-of-old-age-population-in-the-total-us-population/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageing_of_Europe

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageing_of_Europe

[4] https://www.americanactionforum.org/research/chronic-disease-in-the-united-states-a-worsening-health-and-economic-crisis/


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