Exoskeleton Market Shows Signs of Growth in Healthcare Sectors | Opportunities & Challenges

Exoskeleton Market is estimated to exceed USD 3.5 billion by 2026; Increasing incident rates of stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), or other diseases coupled with the growing number of accidents will drive the overall patient number suffering from mobility disorders. Over 15 million people are paralyzed and unable to walk, that in turn will provide strong growth opportunities for the exoskeletons market. Research and development projects to reduce the overall costs and enhance its applications in military, industrial and recreational sectors will further support the industry expansion through 2026.

Exoskeletons are classified under class II by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that requires close application monitoring by regulatory authorities. Extensive clinical trials and approvals are required to demonstrate their safety in medical and personal mobility. Lengthy ethical approval procedures, complex patients’ requirement, and clinical uptake are required prior to product commercialization. These factors will inadvertently boost the consumer confidence in the products and thereby augment the exoskeleton market over the forecast timeframe.

The product offer features such as performance assistance, adjustable frame and custom application software. These characteristics provide increased strength, security, and working efficiency for the workers in shipbuilding and heavy machinery industries. Investments in developing products for enhancing physical strength of industrial workers will augment the exoskeleton market from 2016 to 2024.

Mobile exoskeleton market accounted for highest revenue share of over 61% in 2016 and is estimated to continue its dominance during the study period. The segment growth is credited to increased application in military & industrial segment. Mobile exoskeleton provides mobility to the wearer while augmenting strength to lift heavy load. Stationary products are deployed in rehabilitation centers and hospitals. These products provide fast recovery for the patients suffering from spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairment disorders.

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Lower body exoskeleton acquired more than 60% of total revenue in 2016. These products are used to restore movement of disabled persons. Also, the companies such as Lockheed Martin are investing and developing effective lower body products to enable operation in hostile conditions for security forces. Upper body segment is projected to exhibit highest CAGR of 53% owing to increasing demand in industrial applications such as welding. Full body segment is poised to exhibit growth owing to use in security & defense applications. Revenue for this segment will cross USD 760 million in 2024.

Healthcare application segment will hold dominant exoskeleton market share through the forecast period. Growing rehabilitation requirement for disorders that include Parkinson’s disease, gait disorders and spinal cord injuries are expected to drive the system deployment in healthcare centers. Chief benefits offered to heath care providers include reduced burden on therapists to support during training and improved therapy results.

Asia Pacific exoskeleton market will witness highest CAGR over the forecast period due to the high number of research and development initiatives by Japan, South Korea, and China in medical and military sectors. For instance, in 2018, Norinco, a state-owned manufacturer in China, introduced military exosuits to boost weight carrying capacity of armed forces. Additionally, China Shipbuilding Industry have deployed exoskeletons for shipyard workers, and military engineers have developed L-70 for their armed forces applications.

Major industry participants in the exoskeleton market share include Ekso Bionics, CYBERDYNE INC., ReWalk Robotics, and Rex Bionics Ltd. Collaboration with medical and defense research institutes are among the prominent strategies adopted by the industry participants to develop new products and increase their market share.