The global BioMEMS (bio-medical electromechanical systems) market is projected to grow at a CAGR above 25% over the forecast period (2016-2024). It stood at USD 2.5 billion in 2014. This can be credited to the expanding pool of patients adopting medical instruments on a rental basis. ‘BioMEMS’ is a subset of MEMS devices used in biomedical research. These devices are applied extensively in the healthcare sector. Based on requirement, these are offered as customized solutions to customers. BioMEMS includes devices, such as micro-optics, actuators, structural elements, miniature sensors, and microfluidic devices with computation & controls. They help patients by providing improved device performance.
Introduction of accelerometers in pacemakers has improved the treatment of cardiac diseases. This has contributed significantly to market growth. Other factors driving the market are a growing geriatric populace, low cost, and high efficiency of these devices. Long product development cycles and high research & development costs could impede market growth. But alliances between pharmaceutical and engineering companies may prove beneficial during the forecast period.
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The BioMEMS market is segmented according to materials, products, applications, end-users, and regions. Materials used are silicon & glass, plastics & polymers, paper, and biological materials. Silicon is the most widely applied material in micromachining technology. Due to its compatibility with electricity, it is used by major semiconductor companies.
Products are divided into injectables, implantables, and others. Injectables are sub-divided into micro modules and needles. Accelerometers, drug delivery devices, biochips, gyroscopes & biosensors, and stents are implantable products. Accelerometers are used in sophisticated wheelchairs, such as the iBOT Mobility system. Accelerometers are being used only in defibrillators and implantable pacemakers, thus restraining their growth. But novel applications, like ballistocardiography, may fuel this segment in the forecast period. ‘Others’ includes micro motors, catheters, and inhalers.
Major applications in the global BioMEMS market are therapeutics, tissue engineering, diagnostics, and others. Others include surgery and medical implants. BioMEMS sensors are used to monitor pregnancy, cholesterol rates & food allergy, and in DNA analysis. Sensors that offer crucial information to doctors for the right prognosis are gaining popularity in the world of medicine. This can benefit the ‘diagnostics’ segment in the forthcoming years.
Based on end-users, the BioMEMS market is fragmented into healthcare, research centers, bioprocessing, environmental applications, and food & agricultural industry. Home diagnostics, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and in-vitro diagnostics are the four segments covered under healthcare. Safety concerns regarding viral diseases may trigger the global demand for home diagnostics. In-vitro diagnostics are anticipated to be the largest end-user, followed by pharmaceuticals and research centers.
Regions covered under the BioMEMS market are North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). North America will lead the global market due to the high concentration of healthcare manufacturers in the region. Europe follows North America and stands second. Asia Pacific is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period because of favorable economic conditions.
Major players operating in the BioMEMS market are Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc. (ISSYS), Bluechiip Ltd., Given Imaging, and Cepheid Inc. Mergers & acquisitions are a common market strategy employed by players for market expansion. Japan based TDK Corporation recently acquired Tronics Microsystems. TDK Corporation has thus expanded its product portfolio. SPTS Technologies Ltd. and IMEC are jointly engaged since 2013 in the development of newer techniques for molecular diagnostics and DNA sequencing.