The global medical exoskeleton market valued USD 485.8 million in 2023, which is expected to reach USD 6,336.8 million by 2030, with a CAGR of 44.8% during 2024–2030. This is attributed to the increasing incidence of neurological diseases, such as ataxia, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, acute spinal cord injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. The specific causes of these neurological problems vary, but generally include genetic predisposition, infections, lifestyle-related problems, including malnutrition; and brain or nerve injury.
Moreover, the increasing number of people with physical disabilities is contributing in the growth of the exoskeleton market, as are the rising geriatric population and growing volume of musculoskeletal surgeries. According to the WHO, an estimated 1.3 billion people, or 1 in 6 people, worldwide experience significant physical disability that hampers their daily activities.
The hardware category held the larger market share in 2023. This is because the major component of exoskeletons is hardware, including power sources, control systems, and the components that actually enable the movement.
Software is the faster-growing category, due to the integration of artificial intelligence in such physical rehabilitation and mobility support systems.
Lower-extremity medical exoskeletons held the largest share of the market in 2023. This is attributed to medical device companies’ strong focus on lower-extremity exoskeletons because of the high risk of injury to such body parts. The lower parts of the body are used in day-to-day activities, so the chance of injury to them is rather high.
In May 2022, Harmonic Bionics Inc. entered into a partnership of strategic importance with Curexo Inc., which also invested USD 3 million in the former. Harmonic Bionics will assist Curexo Inc. in business development for the Morning Walk S200 robotic gait rehabilitation system and the CUVIS-spine spinal surgery robot, and their promotion in the U.S. Harmonic Bionics will also manage and oversee the installation of Morning Walk S200 at the Spero Rehab Clinic in Austin, Texas.
Moreover, in November 2021, Ottobock announced the acquisition of 100% shares of suitX, a U.S.-based company spun out of the Robotics and Human Engineering Lab at the University of California, which is mainly involved in the research and development of medical exoskeletons.
Geographically, North America accounted for the largest share in the global medical exoskeleton market, of 55%, in 2023. This is attributed to the increasing disabled population, high investments in research in the healthcare industry by private and government agencies, and availability of technologically advanced products.
Europe also holds a significant share in the market due to the innovations in these products. This is because of the high expenditure on healthcare and strong focus of governments on this aspect of life. Moreover, most of the medical expenditure is state-covered, and residents are not required to pay high charges, which makes advanced exoskeletons affordable. Many private healthcare insurance companies also cover costs for such equipment in the region.
Some of the key players operating in the market are Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc., ReWalk Robotics Ltd., Parker-Hannifin Corporation, BIONIK Laboratories Corp., Rex Bionics Ltd., B-Temia Inc., Bioventus LLC, and Hocoma AG.