The market is evolving rapidly due to the increasing adoption of exoskeleton technology in the developed regions. The growing geriatric population coupled with increasing number of people suffering with paraplegia, tetraplegia, and other spinal cord injuries are major factors boosting the usage rates of exoskeletons.
The “Exoskeleton Market“ has gained high momentum after the launch of products such as ReWalk bionic suit, Ekso GT exoskeleton. Moreover, with the U.S. FDA approving the Parker Indego, commercialization of exoskeleton devices is expected to increase significantly over the next few years.
In the U.S., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Institute of Health (NIH) have significantly contributed toward technology development, research funding, and commercialization of these devices.
For instance, in 2014, Ekso Bionics received a P20 Exploratory Grant from the NIH to continue the development of an exoskeleton prototype for children.
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In October, 2015, Parker Hannifin Corporation announced that it had agreed to supply Indego exoskeleton for a 4-year multicenter study for the Department of Defense, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
In the EU, the Robo-Mate project, which comprises of 12 partners from 7 European nations, has received a total funding of Euro 4.5 million by the 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development of the European Union. Furthermore, classification of Cyberdyne HAL exoskeleton as medical device in the EU and Japan has reinforced the growth prospects and improved the reimbursement scenario.
Further key findings from the study suggest:
The data published by the International Federation of Robotics suggests that in 2014, nearly 272 exoskeletons were sold commercially, and this number is anticipated to grow rapidly over the next few years.
In 2015, the healthcare segment accounted for the maximum revenue share of 54.1%. The use of exoskeletons for rehabilitation and assisted living services is a key factor driving the segments growth. However, the industrial segment is expected to emerge as the fastest growing with a high CAGR of 58.8%. Increasing age of workforce coupled with growing healthcare disorders are expected to boost the use of automation and drive the sales of exoskeletons over the forecast period.
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In 2015, North America was a clear leader with a revenue share of 49.8%. The research on exoskeletons was primarily initiated with the USD 50 million funding received from DARPA, and subsequent grants from NIH and NASA have contributed to the development of a strong ecosystem for the proliferation of exoskeleton technology. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs had issued a national coverage policy for ReWalk robotic exoskeleton systems for eligible veterans with spinal cord injury. This policy is expected to significantly benefit the veterans and propel the usage rates over the forecast period
Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest growing region with a CAGR of 57.4% during the forecast period. The growing geriatric population in Japan and China, increase in the spinal cord injuries, and growing industrialization in this region are expected promote the utilization of exoskeletons for healthcare and industrial applications.
The exoskeleton market is presently dominated by few key participants such as ReWalk, Ekso Bionics, Cyberdyne, and Lockheed Martin. Some of the new players include Rex Bionics, Hocoma, Panasonic- ActiveLink and Parker Hannifin Corporation. Introduction of low cost exoskeletons is expected to increase the competition and is also expected to benefit several patients over the forecast period
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