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Medical ICs outpace CE, computer chips

Posted: 16 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:medical electronics? consumer electronics? computer chip?

Great expectation: Worldwide medical electronics revenue is forecast at 14 percent growth, outpacing consumer and computer markets. (Click to view full image)

The medical semiconductor market is in an early stage of development and still very small compared with the consumer and computer markets. However, Databeans Inc. projects an average annual growth rate of 14 percent per year over the next five years for devices used in medical electronics. This outpaces the consumer and computer markets, where revenue growth is expected to advance by an average of 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

"Medical electronics represents the fastest growing industrial semiconductor opportunity for suppliers; the home, clinical and imaging end-equipment segments are requiring increased and more advanced component support, as technologies for medical applications continue to evolve," said Myson Robles-Bruce, director and senior analyst at Databeans.

Healing power of imaging: Mixed-signal, DSP and power technologies are growing in imaging equipment, as they focus more on patient comfort.

Patient impact
Home-based applications and portable low-cost solutions will grow in demand as patients are becoming less dependent on high cost facilities.

The over-65-year-old population of the world is growing, and retirees are focusing on preventive care rather than costly surgeries. Thus, the market for home medical devices to aid the elderly is destined to increase by as much as 20 percent in the future.

The overweight and obese are another rising demographic benefiting from home medical devices. Smarter home weight scales on the market allow users to monitor metabolism, body fat percentage, muscle and bone mass rates. Some also allow for individuals to plot out and follow a weekly weight management routine using a PC.

The market for home diabetes and glucose tests are on the rise as well. Inexpensive and easy to use blood tests that produce results on par with tests conducted in a physician's office can be purchased from retail outlets.

These trends are driving consumption of semiconductors. Higher performance products drive higher selling prices and the volume is growing. Databeans estimates that semiconductor revenue in the home medical segment will grow from $1.2 billion in 2008 to $2.2 billion by 2013.

- Susie Inouye
Research Director, Principal Analyst
Databeans Inc.

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