Connected Medical Devices refer to the devices that can transmit & receive data from one device to another or through the internet. For instance, a heart rate monitor transmits a patient’s heart rate data to a physician or healthcare institutes via connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. Medical wearables refer to a network of smart devices (electronic skin patches, ECG monitors, etc.) used by patients that are equipped with sensors, actuators, and software connected to the cloud that enables the collection, analysis, and transmission of health data in real-time. The growth in the integration of technology in healthcare institutes, growing awareness about physical fitness, and rising penetration of home care services are expected to boost the adoption of connected medical devices & wearables in the GCC region.
The GCC Connected Medical Devices and Wearables Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 20.19% during the forecast period, i.e., 2022-27. GCC region has always been at the forefront in accepting new technologies, especially in healthcare & consumer devices. The greater traction towards these devices is led by rising purchasing power, augmentation in the home care services, ascending health consciousness among the individuals, lifestyle trends, etc. Therefore, the double-digit growth in the sales of connected medical devices, and wearables were registered during 2017-21
|Study Period||Historical Data: 2017-20|
|Base Year: 2021|
|Forecast Period: 2022-27|
|Country Covered||UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qata,r Kuwait, Bahrain|
|Key Companies Profiled||BASF SE, Sika GCC, MBCC Group, Arkema Middle East DMCC (Bostik), Chryso Group, Mapei S.p.A., Dow Chemical Company, Arkaz Alsharq Building Materials, Don Construction Products Ltd., Fosroc Inc|
|Unit Denominations||USD Million/Billion|
The evolution of homecare has emerged as a new frontier in the connected medical device and wearable industry. The growing trend for remote patient monitoring catalyzed the penetration of connected medical devices. In 2021, around 50% of the hospitals in the UAE were synchronized with advanced IoT-based solutions. In addition, around 90% of the doctors in the country were found to be using technology solutions to monitor their patient's health.
Moreover, the demand for fitness wearables registered an increase on account of the rise in in-house fitness activities, as the fitness centers' operations were suspended due to lockdown. Therefore, with the acceptance of telehealth, connected medical devices, and the wearables market is anticipated to register consistent growth during 2022-27.
Key Trend in the Market
Remote blood pressure monitoring is gradually transforming into a much sought-after feature in the GCC region to measure blood pressure & daily activity, including steps taken & calories burned. With the rising penetration of wearables & consistent growth in cardiac patients, the demand for wearable blood pressure monitoring devices is in its introductory phase in the GCC region. In 2021, according to WHO, around 29% of the UAE population suffered from hypertension, around 40% in Saudi Arabia & more than 25% in Qatar. Consequently, these alarming statistics in the leading countries of the region would gradually pave the way for wearable blood pressure monitoring devices. In 2021, these devices were primarily purchased from Europe & North America. However, the adoption of these devices would soar in the forthcoming years.
Impact of COVID-19 on GCC Connected Medical Devices and Wearables Market
COVID-19 has proven to be a strategic inflection point in the growth & penetration of connected medical devices & wearables. The pandemic has added a new end-user segment in the form of home care & home fitness, which has catalyzed the sales of connected medical devices. The sales of connected diagnostic medical devices such as diagnostic devices insulin pumps for diabetes monitoring, pulse oximeter, ECG monitor, sleep monitors, smartwatches, etc., soared as the healthcare institutes started remote patient monitoring services measuring key vitals of the patients for medical records.
The outbreak of COVID-19 negatively impacted the physical fitness industry. The operational activities of physical fitness service providers were suspended due to the imposition of lockdown. As a result, fitness enthusiasts & patients were forced to opt for home-based fitness techniques & solutions. Further, the increase in the COVID-19 fatalities & hospitalization rate pushed consumers to opt for connected medical devices & wearables to ensure their physical fitness in their homes.
Moreover, the individuals' aggravated concern regarding their vitals such as oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heartbeat, and respiratory rate during & post-pandemic time has expanded the revenue streams for the companies offering connected medical devices such as insulin pumps, and pulse oximeters, smartwatches, wearables ECG, etc. The sales of these connected devices peaked during 2020-21.
By Device Type
Among the two, the diagnostic devices completely dominated the GCC Connected Medical Devices market in 2021, with a market share exceeding 60%. Within, diagnostic devices pulse oximeters, smartwatches, sleep monitors, and insulin pumps collectively grabbed the market share of more than 50% in the same year. Additionally, with the continuous rise in the diabetic population, health consciousness, and hybrid operating model of healthcare institutes in the GCC region, the demand for the above-mentioned connected devices & wearables would continue to surge in the forthcoming years.
According to the Public Health Research Department of New York University, Abu Dhabi, around 20% of the UAE population is diabetic & around 65% of the individuals were obese in 2021, while 19% of the Saudi residents are diabetic (as reported by Diabetes Atlas), and 68% were obese in the same year. Moreover, more than 45% of the individuals in both countries are suffering from undiagnosed diabetes. Hence, these staggering figures are anticipated to grow in the coming years. Consequently, the demand for connected medical devices & wearables would soar in the next few years.
By Product Site
Among them, Handheld devices grabbed a significant market share during 2017-21. However, the market shares of straps, bracelets, or bands have also registered an uptrend during the same period. With the growing adoption of health monitoring & wearables across the countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc., the demand for strap/clip & bracelets is projected to boost in the years to come. Hence, healthcare providers are establishing a partnership with wearable providers to offer enhanced medical care to patients. In 2022, Mubadala Health announced its partnership with BioIntelliSense to utilize BioIntelliSense’s BioSticker and BioButton wearables. The partnership would enable remote tracking of the vital signs of the patients. The market shares of strap/clip, bracelets are expected to exceed 20% through 2027.
By Application Type
Of them all, the GCC Connected Medical Device & Wearables market was dominated by fitness monitoring and remote patient monitoring devices in 2021. Not only the private entities, but the government bodies are equally involved in propagating these solutions to ensure the good health of their citizens. For instance, the Government of Abu Dhabi launched a health screening program viz. ‘Weqaya’ in 2020, which allows its citizens to monitor their fitness status & conduct follow-up consultations, if found to be at risk of any disease. In the same year, Dubai introduced an AI-enabled fitness screening service for expatriates.
In addition, Qatar introduced a connected wellness initiative that includes a ‘Digital Health Coach’ service, which deploys smartphones & fitness wearables to observe food consumption & physical activity levels to generate real-time health insights. Therefore, the fitness monitoring devices would continue to witness an increased momentum in demand during the forecast years. Furthermore, diabetes/obesity care is also registering an increased application as the diabetic population in the entire region is growing at an exponential pace, owing to evolving lifestyles & changing eating patterns.
According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the total diabetic population of the GCC region can be as high as 22% of the entire demography. Also, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is highest in the GCC countries in comparison to the global average. Therefore, the penetration of connected medical devices would continue to grow for diabetic/obesity monitoring & control with the growing awareness & government initiatives to encourage citizens to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
By Distribution Channel
Among them, the supermarkets & hypermarkets segment held a considerable market share in the GCC Connected Medical Device and Wearables market during 2017-19. However, the market had undergone a paradigm shift in 2020 with the outbreak of COVID-19. In 2020, the market shares of the online channel in the monthly sales of connected medical devices and wearables exceeded 60% from May 2020 to July 2020. The same trend is projected to prevail in the years to come due to the ease of buying products online.
Geographically, the GCC Connected Medical Devices and Wearables Market expands across:
Of all the countries across GCC, the UAE is one of the most vibrant economies for connected medical devices & wearables, owing to greater proximity to wearable technology, high-speed internet penetration, growth in footprints of foreign multinationals, proactive government initiatives to ensure fitness, rising home care services, and so on. The healthcare institutes are rapidly integrating technology for cost optimization, remote patient monitoring, and ensuring proper care to citizens. In addition, the organizations in the construction industry are gradually moving toward using fitness wearables to ensure workers’ health safety using wrist straps.
Moreover, with the growth in homecare technologies, the demand for connected medical devices is exhibiting exponential growth. In 2018, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) introduced smart home care to allow the home care team to contact doctors via digital applications & connected medical devices for consultation. These smart technologies also include internet-enabled wireless devices linked to DHA’s electronic health record (EHR) system, viz., SALAMA, ensuring that patient records are updated in real-time during home visits.
Recent Developments by Leading Companies
Growth Drivers: Governments’ Digital Health Initiatives to Boost the Sales of Healthcare Wearables
The Governments across the region have proactively launched digital programs to ensure proper remote care of patients. The Department of Health, Abu Dhabi initiated a home care model to provide quality services to the patients by approving the services of around 75+ service providers catering to more than 5,000 patients. Further, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), the UAE, launched an updated version of its smart patient platform to ensure proper care of patients via digital channels. For instance, in 2020, the Government of Saudi Arabia launched (MAKOM) initiative to deliver tele-mental health services.
Possible Restraint: Rising Cyber Security Attacks in Healthcare Sector
Due to rising digital innovations, organizations are becoming more susceptible to online attacks in GCC countries. These connected care medical devices, such as heart rate monitors and insulin pumps, provide more entry points for hackers as data security is not prioritized in their design. However, the devices might not store patients’ data, but attackers could leverage devices to plan a cyber-attack on the server that holds the crucial information. Therefore, rising concerns over cyber security in connected care devices are considered one of the major challenges in the healthcare industry.
Key Questions Answered in the Market Research Report:
Frequently Asked Questions
A. The GCC Connected Medical Devices & Wearables Market is expecting around a 20.19% CAGR during 2022-27.
A. Diagnostic devices such as insulin pumps, pulse oximeters, smartwatches, etc., are anticipated to emerge as an opportunity area for the leading players in the market during the forecast period.
A. The rising home care services or remote patient monitoring in the GCC, supported by Government’s digital health initiatives in diabetes, cardiac health, hypertension, etc., would be the major opportunity area for the Connected Medical Devices & Wearables providers.