Medical wearables: the convergence of two worlds, medical-grade devices vs. consumer wearables

In today’s wearable technology market, the vast majority of growth has been in consumer sports, fitness, and wellness,” announces Jérôme Mouly, Senior Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole). “However, wearable devices are rapidly expanding for health and medical uses. At Yole, we think, this market should reach US$32 billion by 2024 with a year-to-year 31% growth between 2018 and 2024. In the meantime, the global sensor market for medical wearables, including CGM, is expected to reach US$2.8 billion in 2024, with a 21.6% CAGR during the same period.”

Smartphone ubiquity, sensor miniaturization, and ease of integration have increased the number of wearable products on the market, to the point where such products are now achieving performance levels suitable for medical use-cases.

But how will medical wearables make patients healthier – and why now?

Yole Group of Companies including Yole Développement and System Plus Consulting investigate the world of medical wearables, existing and emerging technologies to propose today two dedicated analyses, Apple Watch 4’s PPG and ECG Health Sensors report and Medical Wearables: Market and Technology Trends.

Yole’s analysts explore the medical wearable technologies used across different market segments and point out the technical choices made by the companies and possible evolutions.

From its side, System Plus Consulting, goes deeply inside the technology with the reverse engineering & costing of the two main health sensors embedded in the Apple Watch series 4: an enhanced PPG and ECG, a medical sensor approved by FDA for the first time in an Apple Watch..

“The PPG is the core of the continuous heart beat sensor,” explains Sylvain Hallereau, Project Manager at System Plus Consulting. “A new, and more compact design reduces the surface area by 30%, while the number of components increases from six to 14. This enhances heartbeat measures. In parallel, the ECG electrically measures very small currents using three electrodes. Two wrist electrodes are integrated on the back side of the Apple’s watch. The third electrode is in the digital crown. The signals are captured and amplified by Analog Devices circuits…”Full story