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Development Center for Healthcare Automation Shifts from Japan to U.S.

March 19, 2017

In a reversal of past trends, the technology center in healthcare automation and robotics is now shifting from Japan to the United States. It is also one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 36% between 2017 and 2021.

The pressing need to streamline workflows, improve the quality of healthcare, and provide round-the-clock monitoring for the growing population of elderly and disabled patients is driving the global care assistant robots market. This is according to market analyst's Frost & Sullivan's Global Care Assistance and Automation Robots Market, Forecast to 2021.

Expected to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate of 36 percent between 2017 and 2021, the market encourages technology developers and healthcare providers to collaborate, boosting the adoption of care robots for resolving operational workflow bottlenecks. Declining costs of hardware and robot-enabling software will ensure sustainable market growth going forward, guaranteeing high return on investment (ROI) for early-stage investors.

"Robotics, for both industrial and service use, is seeing a regional shift in technology innovation and advanced application; dominance has shifted from the early epicenter in Japan to the United States," said Transformational Health Industry Analyst Harpreet Singh Buttar. "Many start-ups are emerging from Silicon Valley, where the future of robotics is being shaped."

The new report is part of Frost & Sullivan's Advanced Medical Technologies Growth Partnership Service program, examines the changing footprint of different types of care assistance robots, such as pharma automation, exoskeleton, daily care,  transportation, telepresence, and rehabilitative. The market is expected to generate $4,473.1 million by 2021, with new growth opportunities driven by:

  • Growing penetration of cognitive computing, mobile app control, and image or speed recognition
  • Widening scope for consolidation within healthcare segments
  • Shift to fee-for-value model

Successful collaboration, seamless integration of robots within hospital environments, and first-mover advantage are the core strategies enabling top contenders such as Cyberdyne, iRobot, Aethon and Swisslog to stay ahead. Two factors restraining widespread adoption of care assistance robots are high costs of ownership and lack of awareness about the reliability of these systems in critical treatment processes such as surgery. Real-life demonstration of the efficiency of these robots is helping address the first issue. Manufacturers and healthcare organizations must work together to develop robotic solutions that will provide users the best benefits at the lowest risks.

"Rise in demand for hospital telepresence robots is principally due to increasing use of telemedicine, whereby off-site physicians communicate in real time with on-site patients through robots," observed Buttar. "As competition is expected to increase in the coming years, finding the right type of partner for the right type of robotic technology in any segment will be crucial to gain early leadership and traction in this market."