Electronic Design
State of the Industry: Poking Around Industry Verticals Indicates A Healthy, Bright Future

State of the Industry: Poking Around Industry Verticals Indicates A Healthy, Bright Future

Hybrid & Electrical Vehicles
Medical
Wireless
Defense
Solid State Lighting

At the midpoint of each year, we take the pulse of the electronics field to see where it is headed, especially in some of the vertical markets that we cover. In addition, we’re turning our focus on hybrid and electric vehicles, two car categories that are making waves across the automotive industry.

Lately, I’ve been scouring my e-mail to come up with industry surveys and research reports that correlate with the industries we’ve covered in this issue. First, these reports help me ascertain what the financial health of these industries will be like in the near future. Second, they help me understand the direction these industries are going. Of the reports I found, one covered medical devices and the other covered advanced lighting.

Medical Devices Going Social?

Socialized medicine is one thing, but I’m not talking about that here. Instead, a study by IBM stresses the importance of integrating social networks and community into the medical devices of the future. Conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, The Future of Connected Health Devices surveyed more than 1300 consumers currently using health and wellness devices and found that they are demanding a new generation of health devices, greater simplicity, and better information sharing.

Users want the ability to connect with their caregiver and reduce office visits to their healthcare professionals. They also want to be able to collaborate online with a community of peers with similar issues and interests.

IBM scientists and healthcare experts predict that a number of new pocket-sized devices will emerge over the next five years to help in a variety of areas: dieting, elder care, blood monitoring, independence and mobility, and communication. Ease of use is the top factor in selecting one device over another, according to an overwhelming 96% of respondents.

This trend has powerful ramifications for business. One analyst, Berg Insight, reports that the market for home health monitoring devices alone was $10 billion in 2010, and patient monitoring is set to grow about 26% annually through 2014.

Beyond the actual devices, though, IBM reports that 86% of device users are demanding real-time information and feedback. The study suggests that the use of social networks and social support promote behavior change, such as better success at dieting, quitting smoking, or becoming less sedentary. Lastly, users will expect new devices to help them tap their friends and family, allowing them to stay connected with their network of supporters.

And they are willing to pay for it. More than one-third of current device users surveyed expect to contribute to the cost of new health devices over the next two years while 35% also expect to pay a monthly service fee.

According to the study, device companies will need to strengthen their collaboration and partnering skills since it is unlikely any single firm has all the capabilities required to offer a total solution. These companies may need to collaborate with software companies that develop user interfaces or with publishing companies that supply health-related information and content. Both consumer and clinician adoption of devices will hinge not only on ease-of-use, but also on industry-wide interoperability.

Growth for Advanced Lighting

A new study from the Freedonia Group called Advanced Lighting says U.S. demand for advanced lighting is forecast to increase 9.3% per year through 2015 to more than $11 billion. Driving these gains are a government-mandated phase-out of traditional incandescent lamps and a projected improvement in the cost effectiveness of advanced lighting.

As you probably know, starting in 2012, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) will limit U.S. lighting sales to products that meet certain energy efficiency standards. The elimination of traditional 40- to 100-W incandescent lamps will effectively power growth in advanced lighting sales through 2015. The report also says that the much longer useful lives of advanced lighting products will decrease the average replacement rate for residential lighting and eventually depress advanced lighting demand.

In nonresidential building and outdoor lighting applications, traditional incandescent lamps account for a smaller share of the market, so the EISA will have less impact on advanced lighting demand. Instead, a projected decrease in the cost of advanced lighting, particularly for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), will spur demand growth through 2015.

Businesses, institutions, and government entities will turn to advanced lighting products to lower energy expenses and reduce the labor costs of replacing lighting products. Demand for LEDs will grow the fastest of any advanced lighting product through 2015, rising nearly 15% per year to $6.1 billion. Increased penetration in the residential building market will support advances. While the EISA will also boost unit sales of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and halogen lamps through 2015, over the long term LEDs are expected to take market share from these types.

Advanced Lighting (published 05/2011, 276 pages) is available for $4900 from the Freedonia Group.

Hybrid & Electrical Vehicles
Medical
Wireless
Defense
Solid State Lighting

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