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Disabled and Elderly Assistive Technologies

United States elderly assistive technologies market: $60.5 billion industry forecast by 2018

The United States disabled and elderly assistive technologies market is projected to grow from $43.4 billion (including eyeglasses and contact lenses) in 2012 to $45.9 billion in 2013 and $60.5 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% between 2013 and 2018. However, not all analysts include conventional eyewear in their estimates of the assistive technology market.

If eyeglasses and contacts are excluded, the U.S. assistive technologies market was worth nearly $12.5 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $13.2 billion in 2013 and $16.7 billion in 2018 for a CAGR of 4.8% between 2013 and 2018.

Progress in medical science as well as technology and healthcare, combined with demographic trends, societal evolution, and changing attitudes are driving the market for assistive technologies. There has been substantial growth in the number of persons with disability and the population of elderly citizens. As a result, these groups are living longer independent or semi-independent lives with the help of assistive technologies.

The societal shift that led to persons with disabilities and the elderly joining the mainstream of daily life in America was solidified in 1990 with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The act forced all the major institutions of American life, including workplaces, government and commercial buildings, educational institutions, and public transportation to accommodate the needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities. The next big shift for this marketplace will be seen after the passage and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

If eyeglasses are excluded, the largest product segment of the U.S. in 2012 was daily living aids, with 32.6% of the market, followed by communication aids (24.1%) and mobility aids (19.7%). Daily living aids are expected to gain additional market share by 2018 (i.e., to 33.7%), while communications aids and mobility aids are losing market share (i.e., to 22.6% and 17.1%, respectively). The biggest gains in market share are expected to occur in medical and personal monitoring aids, the share of which is projected to grow from 5.0% in 2012 to 7.1% in 2018.

The global market for assistive technologies (excluding eyewear) in 2012 at nearly $30.4 billion, growing to $32.1 billion in 2013 and $40.7 billion in 2018, a CAGR of 4.9% between 2013 and 2018. The U.S. accounts for the largest share of the market (about 39%), followed by the EU with 25%.

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