The global bioelectronics and biosensors market was estimated at USD 11.4 billion in 2013. The market is anticipated to grow at a healthy CAGR over 10%, exceeding USD 28 billion in the forecast period (from 2016 to 2024). Bioelectronics & biosensors pertain to the application of electronics in the fields of medicine & biology. A biosensor is a diagnostic tool that joins a biological element with a physicochemical detector. Examples of biological elements are nucleic acids, cell receptors, antibodies, organelles, tissues, etc. Various biological materials are utilized by biosensors to observe the presence of different chemicals in a substance.
Bioelectronics (biology+electronics) is the application of electronic devices to organisms for medical testing, analysis, and treatment. It involves systems that are a blend of biological & electronic components. Bioelectronics emphasize greatly on improvements in prosthetic tools & synthetic implants, and on the interactions of enhanced computing power. Blood glucose meter, magnetic resonance imaging, and cardiac pacemaker are a few examples of bioelectronics. The field of bioelectronics includes areas, such as biology, electrical engineering, physics, materials science, and even chemistry. The electronic devices play an important role in determining the role of biological systems and revolutionize the means of analysis.
Demand for diagnostics and tracking devices, such as cardiac pacemakers and other implantable medical devices may drive the global market in the forthcoming years. High incidence of diseases could also add to market growth. According to the International Diabetes Federation, one of 12 persons globally is detected with diabetes. Diabetes as a lifestyle disease requires blood glucose evaluation on a regular basis. A rapidly growing diabetic population will propel the demand for blood glucose monitoring devices. Such a trend could drive the bioelectronics and biosensors market from 2016 to 2024.
Various technological advancements in biosensors may significantly add to industry growth over the next couple of years. For instance, the “E-skin” biosensor is a wearable clinical device that monitors heart rates and blood pressure levels. Additionally, the introduction of nano-biosensors in the industry will positively impact the overall demand for biosensors. Fluid-Screen is the ideal example of a nano-biosensor. It is a quarter-sized device that uses extremely small nanosensors to detect bacterial infection in blood and pathogens in water. The popularity of nano-biosensors is gradually rising in various developing economies. Application of this product in non-medical fields, like the food industry, biodefense, and environmental monitoring can augment the global demand for bioelectronics and biosensors. In the F&B industry, biosensors are used to identify bacteria in water & pathogens on food surfaces.
However, the sluggish pace of commercialization could hamper market growth. This owes to a number of factors, such as readout times, sensitivity, miniaturization, cost, and so on. Furthermore, high investments in research & development will negatively affect industry performance. There is a certain hesitance towards the adoption & acceptance of novel treatments. This too may hamper the global demand.
The global market is categorized as technologies, applications, and products. On the basis of technologies, the market comprises thermal, optical, piezoelectric, and electrochemical biosensors. As on 2013, the demand for electrochemical biosensors was by far the highest within the technology segment of this industry. Various features in biosensors, such as exceptional detection limits, toughness, coupled with easy miniaturization can boost demand in the years to come. Furthermore, these tools help research-analyze organic samples. Optical biosensors could witness considerable growth over the estimated years. This is because of their capacities in ecological monitoring. These can even ascertain and identify different types of environmental contaminants.
Based on applications, the global bioelectronics and biosensors market consists of home diagnostics, point-of-care (PoC), research labs, environmental monitoring, food safety, and biodefense. The PoC segment has been leading the market over the past few years. This attributes to the high incidence of various diseases and to the growing popularity of real time health monitoring. The primary objective of real time health monitoring is to help patients wait less and thus ensure better healthcare services. The introduction of bioelectronics could trigger a revolution in the rapidly developing PoC testing industry. It has been observed that the use of PoC diagnostics has led to enhanced patient satisfaction. The home diagnostics segment may grow robustly during the estimated years. This is because of a rapidly expanding diabetic population and its need for monitoring insulin levels on a daily basis.
Products include wearable biosensors and non-wearable biosensors. Wearable biosensors are further divided into eyewear, wrist wear, neck wear, footwear, and body wear. For instance, Vital Connect Inc. has launched the HealthPatch MD, a chest wearable biosensor. It helps monitor heart rate, respiratory rate, single lead ECG, posture and even skin temperature. Owing to easy access, miniaturization, and affordable prices, the wearable biosensors industry is expected to grow considerably in the forecast period.
The North America bioelectronics and biosensors industry can dominate the global market. This is on account of a number of applications across numerous healthcare segments; that could boost regional demand. High prevalence of serious medical disorders owing to unhealthy lifestyles and the widespread acceptance of sophisticated products by clinicians, scientists, & patients may propel market demand. Moreover, the proliferation of a large pool of R&D units could also have a favorable impact on the market. Due to rapid economic growth and better healthcare infrastructure, Asia Pacific may contribute substantially to the global market in the near future.
Key companies operating in the bioelectronics and biosensors industry are Bayer A. G.; Abbott Point of Care Inc.; F. Hoffmann-La Roche A. G.; AgaMatrix Inc.; Medtronic Inc.; Nova Biomedical Corp.; and LifeSensors Inc. Most of these companies engage in new product development and invest heavily in R&D activities. In March 2016, Siemens Healthcare acquired Cologne-based NEO New Oncology GmbH. This has successfully expanded the diagnostics portfolio of Siemens Healthcare. This collaboration will have its primary focus on molecular diagnostics and healing, in addition to consulting, managed services, and digital services. Being technology-driven, the global bioelectronics and biosensors market comprises manufacturers engaged in extensive research & development. R&D initiatives are directed towards innovation-led new product development.
Research Support Specialist, USA