The global medical smart textile market size was valued at USD 1,472.96 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 2,779.41 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 7.31% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The growing geriatric population, the rising incidence of chronic diseases, and increasing disease awareness drive the market growth. One of the main variables expected to drive market growth and demand for medical smart textiles is the significant demand for medical sensors used in surveillance equipment in the healthcare industry.
Smart textiles, known as e-textiles, are fabrics that contain conductive strands and electronic components. There are two kinds of smart textiles, i.e., passive and active smart textiles. Smart textiles comprise materials integrating technologies that confer enhanced functionality on the wearer. It detects environmental cues or stimuli, including those from chemical, magnetic, thermal, mechanical, and other sources, and responds accordingly.
The textiles have built-in sensors that constantly interact with the human body and can register physiological changes. Due to these advantages, smart textiles find widespread use in numerous industries, including the military, healthcare, transportation, entertainment, and sports and fitness. However, healthcare employs medical smart textiles the most compared to other industries.
|Market Size||USD 2,779.41 million by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The burden of diseases is continuously growing worldwide. As per the Global Burden of Disease Study from 2017, ischemic heart disease, diarrhea, lower respiratory infections, newborn illnesses, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and stroke were the major causes of early mortality between 1990 and 2017. In 2017, these illnesses were responsible for more than 1 million fatalities globally.
Similarly, the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study states that high blood pressure and smoking were the main global risk factors for early mortality and disability across all age groups. Rapid sensor technology development and research bring new products to the wellness and healthcare industry. For instance, San Francisco-based health technology company Siren introduced Neurofabric, a Diabetic Sock and Foot Monitoring System, which features microsensors embedded directly into the fabric. Thus, the rising global burden of diseases promotes the use of smart textiles, which can detect early warning signs that indicate the disease.
The global market is expected to grow during the projection period, attributed to the growing demand for medical sensors and monitoring devices. For instance, Bonbouton manufactures inkjet-printed, low-cost graphene temperature sensors developed at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J. The company's flexible and molecularly thin sensors made using graphene oxide (GO) could be used for monitoring skin temperature. These advancements in medical sensors lead to an improvement in the lifestyle of humans and eventually increase the demand for medical sensors, which promotes the market's growth.
Smart textile fabrics are costly because of the high cost incurred in the research and development of technology and resources. The introduction of smart fabrics to the general population would be facilitated by the reduction of expenses associated with their production and distribution. Due to the high cost of medical smart textiles, manufacturers cannot cater to the large population. Countries not yet developed or in the developing phase could not afford treatments using medical smart textiles due to the high cost of products. Hence, the high cost of production is a barrier to this market's growth.
Smart textile is a way to revolutionize healthcare practices, and their widespread use to monitor health or help in treatment could reduce the reliance on costly instruments. E-textile is a new concept designed to be simultaneously comfortable to the skin and functional. These smart fabrics consist of traditional fabric woven with conductive fibers and electronic elements such as microcontrollers, biomedical sensors, fiber optics, and wearable antennas such as Mouser's Internet of Things System.
For instance, GPS tracking in e-textiles can be used to track senior family members suffering from diseases such as Dementia or Alzheimer's. The new technological advancement in smart textiles can support the diagnosis of many diseases by continuously monitoring health profiles. This provides opportunities for new market players to come up with the latest technological advancements in medical smart textiles. Thus, the research and development of e-textiles will continue to create more opportunities for the growth of the market in the future.
Based on region, the global medical smart textile market is bifurcated into the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa.
Americas is the most significant global medical smart textile market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.54% during the forecast period. The global market in the Americas has been segmented into North America and Latin America. In this region, North America is expected to dominate the market. The market development in this region is mainly because of the wide use of medical devices and applications in medical engineering for monitoring vital health indicators. In 2018, as per the Consumer Technology Association, around 46.12 million wearable devices were estimated to be shipped in the US. Therefore, the increasing use of wearable electronic devices for disease diagnosis is expected to open new avenues for the global market in the region.
In addition, the American government offers significant enhancements to the healthcare system for the well-being of patients, which fuels the market's growth. Rising patient awareness for early diagnosis of diseases and proper treatments are also expected to expedite the growth of the regional medical smart textile market.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 7.63% over the forecast period. Europe currently holds a significant share of the global medical smart textile market. The increased government spending to support the healthcare industry can be ascribed to the market expansion in Europe. For instance, according to Eurostat, the cost of healthcare per person in three EU member states—Luxembourg (EUR 5,600), Sweden (EUR 5,100), and Denmark (EUR 5,000)—was at least EUR 5,000 in 2016. This is because the cost of healthcare per person in Europe is very high and is steadily rising. The high healthcare expenditure enables the European population to adopt advanced medical diagnosis methods using medical smart textiles.
Additionally, several leading companies such as Schoeller Switzerland, Pireta, and Camira in the medical smart fabric industry are headquartered in Europe, which has driven the use of medical smart textiles. Hence, Europe is anticipated to drive market growth with the increased adoption of medical smart textiles during the review period.
Asia-Pacific is likely the quickest-growing region in the global market because of the increasing number of healthcare organizations, extensive demand for advanced medical devices, increasing prevalence of diseases, and surging applications of technology in the early diagnosis of diseases. The governments of rapidly developing economies like China, India, Japan, and South Korea are increasing people's awareness of advanced medical technologies for treating diseases. For instance, in Japan, many organizations, such as the National Institute of Public Health, the National Institute of Health and Nutrition, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and the Japanese Association of Public Health Centre, promote awareness of various health issues and their treatment.
Additionally, Asia-Pacific has a large geriatric population requiring advanced therapies to treat the increasing cases of cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases, and others, which creates additional opportunities for significant market growth. According to the findings of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), over 12.4% of the populace residing in the Asia-Pacific area were aged 60 years or older in the year 2016. Projections indicate that this demographic is expected to increase significantly, reaching a staggering 1.3 billion individuals by 2050.
The Middle East and Africa is expected to expand gradually during the forecast period. In this region, the Middle East is anticipated to dominate owing to the presence of developed countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and others. Increasing awareness about medical smart textiles in the region will contribute to the market's growth. African countries are expected to grow slowly due to their backward economic and political conditions.
The global medical smart textile market is bifurcated into technology, application, and end-users.
Based on technology, the global market is divided into wearable technology, textile sensors, and others.
The wearable technology segment is the highest contributor to the market and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.74% over the forecast period. Wearable technology delivers a lot of benefits for patients patients monitoring and treatment. The garments manufactured using wearable technology can send data or feedback from the sensors in the textile to a smart device, computer, or app that can analyze and display the data meaningfully to the end user. This technology is used to manufacture shirts, socks, and hospital gowns. In addition, increasing adoption of this technology by major market players is predicted to drive market growth. For instance, the biometric smart shirt manufactured by Carre Technologies (Hexoskin) utilizes wearable technology. Moreover, rising research activities are expected to drive market growth.
Textile sensors can be used for physiological assessment as well as therapeutic purposes. Textile sensors use optical fiber technology to evaluate temperature, moisture, blood oxygenation, sweat pH level, respiration rate, and movement. Textile sensors are mostly used in hospital blankets, bandages, plasters, and transdermal patches. In addition, the rising focus of major market players to incorporate textile sensors in hospital blankets, bandages, etc., is expected to drive market growth. For instance, Gentherm, a US-based company, manufactures Maxi-Therm Lite single-use hypothermia blankets using textile sensors. Growing R&D activities on textile sensors are also expected to drive market growth.
Based on application, the global market is bifurcated into bio-monitoring, surgery, therapy, and wellness, and others.
The bio-monitoring segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 6.82% during the forecast period. Medical smart textiles for bio-monitoring applications have been manufactured for over a decade. Active and passive electrodes are attached to the textiles for bio-monitoring, and passive electrodes are mostly preferred. These electrodes could analyze the electrical signals and register the cardiac and muscle activities by detecting electrical signals generated by the heart and muscles. Hence, medical smart textiles could be used to measure heartbeats and heart rate variability (HRV) and record electrocardiography (ECG) and electromyography. The flourishing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and increasing technological advancements are expected to stimulate market growth.
Medical smart textiles are used in electrical stimulation therapy, physiotherapy, and auxiliary and active thermoregulation systems. Electrotherapeutic socks are manufactured for the prevention and treatment of wounds. For instance, Sensoria Inc. manufactures and sells smart socks to prevent and treat wounds caused by diabetic foot ulcers. Moreover, in March 2018, Siren launched Neurofabric, the first textile with microsensors embedded directly into the fabric, for continuous monitoring of foot injuries in people who have diabetes. Neurofabric is used to manufacture the Siren Socks. Therefore, rising therapeutic applications of medical smart textiles are driving market growth.
Based on end-users, the global medical smart textile market is bifurcated into hospitals, clinics, and others.
The hospitals and clinics segment owns the largest market share and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 7.53% over the forecast period. A gradual rise in government and private hospitals in emerging countries, namely China and India, coupled with the increasing applications of medical smart textiles in surgeries performed in hospitals, supports the dominance of hospitals among end users. Regarding value, the US holds a larger market share than China and India. According to an independent source, around 105,000 hospitals worldwide with advanced laboratory infrastructure are currently contributing to their large market share. Therefore, the increasing number of hospitals will propel market growth.