The global AR in the healthcare market size was valued at USD 1.6 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 12.26 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 25.4% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
AR in healthcare can help enhance the ability of surgeons and doctors to diagnose and treat their patients more precisely by permitting them to access their patient's real-time data and better visualize health issues. Therefore, AR helps reduce risks associated with minimally invasive procedures, provides informed decisions about the treatment and prevention of diseases, and better aftercare for patients. AR can also be utilized in medical education and training. Students and healthcare professionals can use AR applications to visualize and interact with virtual anatomical models, enhancing their understanding of complex structures and medical concepts. This technology enables immersive learning experiences and can facilitate knowledge retention.
AR in patient care can give medical staff real-time visual instructions while doing treatments. For example, surgeons can use AR headsets or smart glasses to overlay medical imaging data onto the patient's body, allowing them to see internal structures and navigate complex anatomy more accurately. This can help improve surgical precision, reduce risks, and enhance patient outcomes.
Augmented reality has positively impacted the healthcare industry. For instance, AR can be used for receiving medical consultations from healthcare professionals without being physically present in the hospital. AR in the healthcare sector has improved surgical procedures through AR training simulators and enabling blood vessel mapping in real-time. It has also allowed physicians to access patient data on time and enhanced drug discovery methods. This increase in the use of AR in medical and healthcare applications is expected to propel the market's growth.
Furthermore, AR has the potential to transform the drug discovery process. Researchers can visualize and interact with complex molecular structures using virtual and augmented reality simulations, accelerating the design and development of new drugs. This innovation enables a more effective and cost-effective drug discovery process, potentially leading to faster availability of life-saving medications.
The rising number of AR-based startups, such as Subvrsive, VironIT, Next/Mow, Groove Jones, Shockoe, Hedgehog Lab, and CemtrexLabs, is indeed indicative of the growing interest and potential in the field of AR for healthcare. These startups leverage AR technology to develop innovative solutions that address various healthcare challenges and enhance patient care. These AR startups focus on developing applications and platforms that enable immersive experiences, virtual simulations, remote consultations, surgical training, medical education, and data visualization in the healthcare sector. By combining AR with medical expertise, these companies drive advancements in patient care, diagnostics, treatment planning, and surgical interventions.
Additionally, the rise of AR in the healthcare market is further fueled by the rising investments made by the public and private sectors in integrating technology across numerous industry verticals, including healthcare. These investments contribute to research and development efforts, infrastructure development, and the adoption of AR solutions in healthcare settings. The public and private sector support helps accelerate the integration of AR technology into healthcare workflows and expands its applications in patient care and medical training.
Potential security and privacy concerns include personal data breaching risks, which the users submit as a part of the registration process. Another major potent risk is hacking of private information and recording while the products are in use. Payment information submitted to the app vendors could also be accessed by hackers, thereby posing a threat to users' data privacy. This is anticipated to hamper the growth of AR in the healthcare market.
Another significant concern is the hacking of private information and unauthorized recording while using AR products. AR in healthcare may involve capturing and processing visual and audio data, which raises privacy concerns. Unauthorized recording or access to sensitive medical procedures or consultations could lead to privacy violations.
Integrating AR into the healthcare system requires cooperation from companies and governments. For instance, the UK government supports AR companies and offers mentoring and funding. It also shapes supportive regulations for AR in the healthcare system. Furthermore, the Japanese government and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) offer grants for creating advanced technologies, including AR, to promote services and products in Japanese regional areas. In addition, governments understand that AR has the potential to transform healthcare delivery, improve patient outcomes, and enhance medical training. They also recognize the importance of fostering innovation and technological advancements in healthcare to address challenges and improve efficiency within the system.
Governments enable research and development activities in the AR healthcare sector by providing financial support. Funding and grants facilitate the creation of new AR applications, devices, and platforms and improve existing technologies. This financial support encourages companies and startups to invest in AR technologies and accelerates the pace of innovation.
The global AR in the healthcare market is bifurcated into technology, product type, and end users.
Based on technology, the global AR in the healthcare market is bifurcated into head-mounted devices and handheld devices.
The head-mounted devices segment owns the highest market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 26.8% over the forecast period. Augmented reality allows computer-generated imagery to superimpose on real world view. A head-mount display device or HMD is worn on the head as a part of a helmet and is the primary component of augmented reality headsets. The head-mounted displays gained popularity in recent years due to the increasing use of AR in different fields such as gaming, entertainment, retail, e-commerce, interior designing, real estate, education, and healthcare.
AR head-mounted displays are transparent, and the information captured is overlaid onto real-life objects. An increase in the use of head-mounted devices in medicine and research is expected to drive market growth for head-mounted display devices during the forecast period. The data generated from X-ray computed tomography and MRI scans are combined with the surgeon’s view of the operation and anesthesia. This helps surgeons better operate and diagnose patients, increasing the demand for head-mounted displays in coming years.
Based on product type, the global AR in the healthcare market is bifurcated into AR displays, AR sensors, AR input devices, and others.
The AR displays segment dominates the global market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 25.4% over the forecast period. AR displays are anticipated as the next-generation display devices. These include monitors, display systems, and optical projection systems. Furthermore, companies are investing in making displays capable of enriching human interaction. For instance, engineers at the University of Cambridge have developed an augmented reality head mount display (HMD) to deliver a 3-D viewing experience without eyestrain or nausea. The display devices range from Google Glass to VIVE. AR displays are an integral component of augmented reality technology, enabling the seamless integration of virtual content with the real world. In addition, the ongoing advancements and investments in AR displays contribute to improving user experience, reducing discomfort, and expanding the range of applications in various industries, including healthcare.
Based on end-users, the global AR in the healthcare market is bifurcated into hospitals and clinics, research laboratories, and others.
The hospitals and clinics segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 26.9% over the forecast period. Hospitals and clinics globally are integrating augmented reality to improve patient experience and save surgery time by analyzing and scanning 3D visuals with the help of VR. The booming use of augmented reality for surgeons to aid them during surgery in hospitals worldwide is expected to drive the segment to grow at a profitable CAGR during the forecast period. For instance, at Imperial College and St. Mary’s Hospital in London, doctors and surgeons have already started using Microsoft’s HoloLens AR glasses for patients with reconstructive surgery.
Furthermore, Cleveland Clinic has an ongoing project that aims to transform anatomical education through AR. In addition to surgical applications, AR is being utilized in anatomical education and training. Cleveland Clinic, for instance, has an ongoing project to transform anatomical education through AR. By overlaying virtual anatomical models onto real-world objects, medical students and healthcare professionals can better understand the human body, improving their learning experience and knowledge retention.
North America Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global AR in the healthcare market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global AR in the healthcare market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 26.1% over the forecast period. North America is home to several major AR technology providers and healthcare organizations actively investing in developing and implementing AR solutions. These organizations collaborate to create innovative applications and tools tailored to the healthcare industry's needs, ranging from surgical assistance and patient education to remote consultations and training simulations. Furthermore, favorable government initiatives and policies supporting the adoption of advanced technologies in healthcare contribute to the growth of the AR market in North America. Government funding, research grants, and regulatory frameworks that encourage the use of AR in healthcare create a conducive environment for market expansion.
Additionally, North America's position as the leading shareholder in the worldwide AR in the healthcare market is driven by its advanced healthcare infrastructure, technological advancements, collaborative efforts between industry players, and supportive government initiatives. The projected high growth rate underscores the region's potential for continued expansion and innovation in leveraging AR technology to enhance healthcare delivery and outcomes.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 26.8% over the forecast period. The AR in the healthcare market is anticipated to experience rapid growth during the anticipated period, owing to a rise in expenditure in the healthcare sector in this region. Growth in government support for adopting these technologies has significantly increased the demand for integrating AR in the healthcare sector. For instance, AR applications require considerable bandwidth for functioning. In light of this, the European Union rolled out 5G through its 5G for Europe Action Plan. The plan aimed to roll out 5G in Europe by 2020. However, European companies usually outsource technologies due to intellectual property protection and data security. In addition, rapid technological advancements and the convenience of AR devices for businesses and consumers are expected to boost the demand for AR devices in Europe. Moreover, government initiatives such as the "Europe in your hands" project are designed to increase European business relations through augmented reality formats.
China and India are Asia-Pacific countries that contribute the most to global revenue. The healthcare market in this region offers promising opportunities for AR growth and is predicted to grow significantly during the forecast period. The rise in acceptance of AR technologies across several industries and the presence of major vendors in the region are forecasted to drive market growth. For instance, Sony Corporation, Niantic, Inc., Nintendo Co., Ltd., Google Inc., Samsung Electronics, AccuVein, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Medsights Tech Corp are some prominent players operating in the AR market in Asia-Pacific.
LAMEA comprises Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of LAMEA. The AR in the healthcare market experiences slower growth in the region due to inadequate healthcare infrastructure and expenditure. However, supportive government policies such as increased government funding and a rise in initiatives to integrate AR into healthcare are anticipated to drive market growth in this region.
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