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26 July 2011
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The U.S. market for assistive technologies is projected to grow from $39.5 billion (including eyeglasses and contact lenses) in 2010 to $41.1 billion in 2011 and $55 billion in 2016, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% between 2011 and 2016.
Vision and reading aids is the largest product segment of the U.S. market with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% during the 5-year period from 2011 to 2016. This segment is expected to be worth $29.3 billion in 2011 and nearly $39.2 billion in 2016.
If eyeglasses are excluded from the analysis, the largest product segment of the U.S. in 2010 was daily living aids, with 32.6% of the market. This segment is valued at nearly $4 billion in 2011. This should reach nearly $5 billion in 2016, for a CAGR of 4.9%.
Assistive technology products are designed to assist people who, because of specific disabilities or the general infirmities that often accompany aging, would otherwise be unable to participate meaningfully in economic, social, political, cultural, and other forms of human activity in their communities. Assistive technology encompasses a broad range of devices, from "low-tech" products such as eyeglasses and large-print books, to technologically sophisticated products such as voice synthesizers, Braille readers, and wireless monitoring devices.
Since 2008, continued progress in medical science as well as technology and healthcare, combined with demographic trends, societal evolution, and changing attitudes, have continued to drive the market for assistive technologies. Thus, it would seem that the time has come for a new review of the market's overall size and direction.
Not only has there been substantial growth in the number of disabled and elderly people, but they are living longer lives and living independently or semi-independently longer. These individuals need to perform activities such as shopping, personal hygiene, and communications that once might have been performed by a family member or an institutional caregiver.
Not only do many disabled and elderly people need to perform basic activities for themselves, but they have also undergone a revolution in their life expectations. They may now expect to be gainfully employed, participate in the political process, and attend cultural and social events, to name only some of the possibilities.
These changes have coincided with dramatic shifts in public and professional attitudes toward the disabled and the elderly. Persons with disabilities, including the elderly, are now considered full citizens entitled to receive a range of services of their choosing to maintain their quality of life and enjoy full inclusion in society.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which took effect July 26, 1992, is the clearest expression of this attitudinal shift. The ADA says, in essence, that participation in the mainstream of daily life is an American right, regardless of race, religion, or disability.
The ADA contains provisions dealing with equality of employment, equal access to government services, equal access to private businesses that deal with the public, and telecommunications for the disabled. Subsequent legislation and decisions by the courts have clarified and extended the basic provisions of the ADA in a process that has continued up to the present. These demographic, social, political, and legal developments have created an opportunity as well as a challenge for medical technology and manufacturing to develop and commercialize new products.
Another recent piece of legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010, is likely to have a significant impact on the market for various assistive technologies. Among its other provisions, the new law imposes a tax on medical devices such as prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, and wheelchairs that will increase the cost of these devices and may decrease their use.
The new health law contains various other provisions that could have a significant impact on the market for assistive technologies, particularly through changes in Medicare. There is considerable controversy about the extent of these impacts even if the law is implemented as it is currently written (there is considerable political support for major changes in the law or even its repeal). However, the uncertainty about the healthcare law's impact on the assistive technologies market makes this an opportune time to look at alternative scenarios.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The goal of the report is to examine market opportunities for assistive technology products that are now on the market or that are likely to enter the market over the rest of the decade. Specific objectives of the report include analyzing the following:
Major product types and applications, both commercial and developmental.
Market size and segmentation, including historical data on sales by application and product type.
Market drivers and constraints.
Detailed market projections through 2016.
Industry structure, competition, and market shares.
Factors that may influence the long-term market for assistive technologies.
The report has been written explicitly for those with an interest in disabled and elderly care issues, including the following:
Manufacturers and distributors
Regulators and health insurers
The financial and analyst community
The report is tailored especially for readers with an interest in the marketing, financial, and management dimensions of the assistive technologies industry. However, readers with a more general interest in disabled and elderly care may find it useful as well.
Chapters from this report can be purchased separately. Please contact us to find out more about this offer.
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