The market for wearable sensors is expanding, says market research firm, IDTechEx. More people than ever before are turning to wearable sensors to monitor their activity levels. However, despite its origin in simple step counting, the market for wearable sensors is expanding into the more complex arena of health monitoring. Innovations in wearable sensor technology are expanding the envelope of biometrics accessible through watches and skin patches, says Tess Skyrme, technology analyst. This not only seeks to address the growing demand for remote patient monitoring and decentralized clinical trials but also the rising expectations of the general consumer. This includes easier access to health data but extends further to sensor integration into headsets and accessories for immersive experiences in the metaverse, she says.

The latest wearable sensors report from IDTechEx, “Wearable Sensors 2023–2033,” breaks down the complex landscape of sensor types, biometrics, and form factors. This includes inertial measurement units, optical sensors, and chemical sensors for vital signs, stress, sleep, and even brain activity. IDTechEx highlights the key opportunities and challenges for each sensor type to achieve commercial success across the next 10 years.

For example, the report notes that motion sensing hardware is well established, with accelerometers integrated into almost every wearable. Therefore, as profit margins for manufacturers diminish with commoditization, expanding the application space is crucial to maintain growth.

According to the report, sensor developers are interested in pushing the boundaries of what can be measured noninvasively with light — whether it be through new software to analyze photoplethysmography (PPG) signals or new hardware for spectroscopy. Multiple companies are competing to lead in the commercialization of wearable blood pressure, with others setting their sights on ambitious clinic on the wrist devices.

The report also notes that incorporating conductive materials into wearable technology has led to development of a variety of wearables sensors including wet electrodes stuck on the skin to measure the heart, dry electrodes in headphones to analyze brain signals, and microneedles within skin patches to quantify muscle movements.

The main drivers identified for growth are digital health and remote patient monitoring, extended reality and the metaverse, and performance analytics of athletes and sports people. All of these meta-trends and more are discussed in this report.

Sherrie Trigg

Editor and Director of Medical Content

For a copy of the report, visit here .