The global 3D printed wearables market size was valued at USD 3,806.12 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 7,608.23 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
3D printing is a cutting-edge process for creating 3-dimensional items by adding layers of printing material. Additive manufacturing is the term used most frequently to describe the process. Layering is a technique used in 3D printing to turn computer models into actual objects. This toolless technology makes making thick metallic items with excellent precision and speed possible. The popularity of 3D printing has recently increased thanks to consumer wearables. In addition, 3D-printed wearables offer a wide range of products, including fitness trackers, smartwatches, textiles, and athletic items. Manufacturers can now manufacture complex structures with a level of design freedom that was previously not conceivable, thanks to the development of 3D metal printing technology.
The increased prevalence of chronic diseases around the world is predicted to have a positive impact on market expansion over the forecast period. According to the WHO, chronic diseases—such as respiratory disorders, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases—account for nearly 60.00% of the total number of deaths and 43.00% of the global burden of diseases. These percentages will likely increase to 73.00% and 60.00% by 2021. The increasing prevalence of chronic conditions is expected to boost the demand for effective treatment options.
Furthermore, according to the American Society of Nephrology and ERA-EDTA, in 2018, nearly 850 million individuals were suffering from some form of kidney disease, and almost 10.5 million required transplants or dialysis worldwide. In addition, more than 113,000 people in the U.S. awaited transplants in 2019, and nearly 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant, according to the U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation. Therefore, the high prevalence of kidney diseases and the shortage of organ donors are expected to boost the need for advanced regenerative medicines and tissue engineering technologies and devices, such as 3D-printed wearables, propelling the market growth.
The rising prevalence of diabetes worldwide is anticipated to boost the market growth. Antimicrobial resistance, adoption of unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles, alcohol consumption, and smoking are some of the significant factors contributing to the rise in the prevalence of diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2017, published by the CDC, over 100 million people in the U.S. live with diabetes or prediabetes conditions.
In addition, the WHO reported that in 2016 approximately 1.6 million deaths globally were directly caused due to diabetes. As per the WorldAtlas, in 2018, the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence rate of diabetes include Saudi Arabia (17.7%), Soloman Islands (18.7%), Guam (21.5%), Mauritius (22%), French Polynesia (22.6%), Kiribati (22.7%), New Caledonia (23.4%), Nauru (24.1%), Tuvalu (27.3%), and Marshall Islands (30.5%). Therefore, this is one of the major factors likely to drive market growth over the forecast period.
A need for well-trained scientists in biology and computers is expected to restrain market growth over the forecast period. There is a high demand for scientists with unique strengths in medicine, mathematics, biology, and physical sciences. The data required for research is ever-growing, and pharmaceutical companies now need scientists who can conduct backward investigations by analyzing genomic data to find links between specific genotypes and various diseases and then screening data to identify therapeutic candidates.
Additionally, the demand for computational biologists far outweighs the supply. To overcome this challenge, governments across the globe have begun courses and training programs pertaining to computational biology. Prominent institutes—such as the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (Switzerland), National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and National Library of Medicines—are funding programs aimed at training computational biologists. Moreover, companies are making constant endeavors in terms of time and resources to re-skill available human resources.
Additive manufacturing, also regarded as 3D printing, is considered the next great industrial revolution in manufacturing. It has the potential to offer affordable ways to create complex and customized medical components and parts, including organs, tissues, dental prosthetics, and orthopedic and cranial implants. High demand and unmet needs identified in the healthcare sector due to the rise in the number of surgeries and increasing prevalence of chronic disorders are anticipated to aid the growth over the forecast period.
Due to the rise in surgical operations, there has been a considerable growth in the demand for specialized services, which will be met by additive manufacturing or wearable 3D-printed equipment. Moreover, technological advancements, increasing adoption, and growing consumer awareness regarding technologically advanced products are anticipated to expand the scope of bioengineered healthcare products, thereby driving the growth of 3D-printed wearables. For instance, medical technology firms such as Stryker developed specific medical parts of titanium-based anterior and posterior cervical cages using 3D printing.
The global 3D printed wearables market is bifurcated into product and end-user.
Based on product, the global 3D printed wearables market is divided into prosthetics, orthopedic implants, surgical instruments, smartwatches, and fitness trackers.
The prosthetics segment is the highest contributor to the market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% over the forecast period. Prosthetics are artificial limbs that help restore mobility in amputees. Additionally, prosthetic devices are segmented into upper-extremity prosthetics, lower-extremity prosthetics, liners, sockets, and modular components. An increase in the disability rate globally is expected to drive the market in the coming years. For instance, as per the report published by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics, in 2017, the percentage of people with disability in the U.S. increased from around 11.9% in 2010 to 12.8% in 2016, thereby leading to a rise in demand for prosthetics.
The 3D-printed wearable orthopedic implants utilize state-of-an-art technology that allows the development of metallic implants for biomedical applications. These orthopedic implants comprise advantages such as extra comfort and efficiency, owing to which key and small players are focusing on R&D to develop such products. For instance, in August 2019, Additive Orthopedics obtained FDA clearance for its customized 3D-printed locking lattice plates, which stabilize, fuse, and align fractures and other problems related to small bones. This technology is also utilized to develop 3D-printed titanium hammertoe implants for treating ankle and foot injuries.
Furthermore, in October 2019, DePuy Synthes introduced a new product line at the North American Spine Society meeting, which comprises 3D-printed titanium interbody implants for spinal fusion. Similarly, Globus Medical also launched a new product portfolio of 3D-printed implants. In February 2020, Particle3D—a Danish startup company—designed a method for printing personalized lightweight bone implants, which will naturally fuse with the body in time. Therefore, such factors will likely significantly boost segment growth over the forecast period.
Based on the end-user, the global 3D printed wearables market is divided into hospitals, pharma and biotech companies, academic institutes, and others.
The academic institutes' segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% over the forecast period. The academic institute's segment accounted for the largest revenue share. This is due to the rapidly increasing patient population and increasing investment in R&D for 3D-printed wearable devices. Increasing investment in the 3D printing industry by prominent players in the market to enhance their productivity and efficiency has driven the manufacturers to increase their focus on these activities. For instance, in March 2020, Canadian doctors shared views regarding the growing importance of 3D-printed instruments and models such as surgical equipment. Therefore, such examples indicate that the segment may witness a significate growth rate over the forecast period.
Regarding revenue, the hospital segment is the fastest-growing 3D-printed wearables market. They require these devices in large quantities in each room, nurse's station, operation theater, emergency room, outpatient clinics, and ambulatory hospital services. Hospitals generally issue an open tender offer for the procurement of these devices. There may be an increase in the demand for 3D printed wearable devices in hospitals, as wireless devices increase the ease of patient administration and patient comfort. Wireless technology will also bring about relaxation in the maintenance of patient records. It will also be easy to integrate with medical records due to the increased penetration of electronic data records.
Based on region, the global 3D printed wearables market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant shareholder in the global 3D printed wearables market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.0% during the forecast period. North America had the most significant market share owing to the local presence of several key market players in this region, growing demand for quality healthcare services, well-established healthcare infrastructure, favorable reimbursement policies, and regulatory reforms in the healthcare sector. The focus of the U.S. healthcare system on quality of care and value-based services has led to a favorable market environment 3D-printed wearables market. In addition, the rising prevalence of osteosarcoma and increasing incidence of sports injuries in the region has led to the need for prosthetics. Similarly, the growing prevalence of the edentulous population is expected to increase the adoption of 3D-printed wearable dental and orthodontic models. Moreover, favorable government initiatives to support R&D activities and subsidies for improving the adoption of 3D-printed wearables are expected to boost the market growth during the forecast period.
Europe is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% over the forecast period. Strong government support, an advanced healthcare system coupled with a growing senior population, a declining birth rate, and well-developed healthcare insurance programs can be attributed to the substantial market growth in the region. Furthermore, prominent research and development activities undertaken by government agencies and renowned regional institutions support market growth. For instance, the UK-based Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing Association (RPMA) organizes events to promote 3D printing, and its audience includes university researchers and critical industry participants. Similarly, Additive Manufacturing Association (AMA) encourages the adoption of product development and prototyping and provides valuable information to the 3D printing industry. Such factors are expected to aid in further market growth.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to increasing per capita income, economic development, and high unmet medical needs of a large population pool in China and India. Growing demand for dental 3D-printed wearables due to the increasing number of tooth replacement surgeries is also expected to contribute to market growth. In addition, the rising prevalence of arthritis is leading to the growing demand for orthopedic implants. The ever-increasing geriatric population in Asian countries, with large patient pools in countries such as India and China, is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. The deficiency of calcium and the prevalence of osteoporosis is increasing in the geriatric population. Therefore, they are opting for medication such as corticosteroids. These medications later result in an edentulous state in adults, increasing the demand for therapeutic, preventive, and surgical services.
An increasing number of programs, such as conferences, workshops and symposiums, and lectures in Latin America, drive the market growth. These initiatives promote and spread awareness about the use of 3D printing in healthcare, which is expected to foster market growth. For instance, an event called 3D Print Week (Si3D) was held recently at the Technological Institute of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The event attendees were from additive manufacturing industries, industry experts, academia, and medical and dental professionals, who were brought together on a single platform. In the event, the latest innovations, trends, scope, and challenges faced were discussed, which helped in highlighting the capabilities of additive manufacturing technology in healthcare. As additive manufacturing is in its nascent stages of adoption in the healthcare sector in Latin America, these programs are expected to play a crucial role in the overall market growth in the region.
The Middle East and Africa region includes Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and UAE. These countries have advanced healthcare infrastructure and prospering economies characterized by high per capita income and government-funded solid social security schemes. On the contrary, South Africa lacks adequate healthcare infrastructure. However, independent healthcare organizations, such as the WHO, are undertaking several initiatives in South African countries, which are expected to favor market growth. Additionally, growing government initiatives and conferences to enhance the usage of 3D-printed wearables, such as prosthetics, in middle and lower countries are also expected to contribute towards market growth.
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