There are 250,000 – 400,000 individuals living with spinal cord injuries (SCI) or spinal dysfunction in the United States (US) alone. Less than 1% of them fully recover and 90% live in private and non-institutional residences. Across the world, this statistic is largely either undocumented or unstructured. Mobility is extremely restrained and is heavily burdened for this group of people across the world. The rising popularity of exoskeletons in medical applications of rehabilitation and therapy is significant. The ability of exoskeletons to enable paralyzed people to leave their wheelchairs is an important technological advancement and paves way for the future of healthcare research and science.
Exoskeletons aren’t new. They have been under research and development (R&D) for military applications for more than 50 years now. However, substantial progress has only been achieved in the last decade. The momentum towards powered military exoskeletons and soft exosuits has picked up critical mass for industry wide adoption only in the last 5 years.
Beyond military applications, exoskeletons have also found applicability in commercial and industrial applications. Tool handling, chairless chairs, back support and powered gloves are only a few of the focus areas on the industrial side. Over the next five years, the industry might witness the arrival and use of commercial-grade exoskeletons across construction facilities, shipyards, airports and warehouses. The need for enhanced power and amplified physical capabilities is a key driver for this market. Coupled with this trend is the rise of complimenting technologies that will help exoskeletons stretch the boundaries of technical advancements while delivering bigger opportunities over time.
The market for exoskeletons across many parts of the world is expected to grow multi-fold and is set to carve a niche through medical, commercial and military robotics deployment. The market for exoskeleton has grown out of its embryonic phase and is set to pack a punch in the marketplace, providing incremental ROIs to market participants and stakeholders. The market for exoskeletons is set to grow from $225.3 million in 2016 to $3.75 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 75.5% during the 2016 – 2021 forecast period.