The global medical exoskeleton market size is expected to reach US$ 1,504.8 Million by 2030, from US$ 357.4 Million in 2023, at a CAGR of 22.8% during the forecast period. Medical exoskeletons are wearable devices that work in tandem with the user’s movements to provide mobility assistance and improve strength. They enable individuals with mobility impairments or muscle weakness to stand, walk, lift heavier objects, and perform occupational and rehabilitation activities. The increasing incidence of spinal cord injuries, rising prevalence of orthopedic disorders, and growing geriatric population are key factors driving the medical exoskeletons market’s growth.
The global medical exoskeleton market is segmented by type, mobility, end user, and region. By type, the lower body exoskeletons segment is expected to account for the largest share during the forecast period owing to the high incidence of lower body disabilities and the increasing development of gait-assistive lower limb exoskeletons.
Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Regional Insights:
- North America is expected to be the largest market for the global medical exoskeleton market during the forecast period, accounting for over 38% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to the rising incidences of mobility disabilities, the presence of key players, and increasing investments in exoskeleton research and development
- The Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for the global medical exoskeleton market, accounting for over 28% of the market share in 2022. The growth of the market in Europe is attributed to favorable government initiatives, an increasing geriatric population, and the rising adoption of connected exoskeletons.
- The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for the global medical exoskeleton market, with a CAGR of over 27% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is attributed to improving healthcare infrastructure, increasing healthcare expenditure, and growing awareness about exoskeletons.
Figure 1. Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Share (%), by Region, 2023
- The global medical exoskeleton market has strong growth potential, driven by the rising geriatric population and prevalence of various physical disabilities. As people are living longer, issues like age-related mobility challenges are increasing. Exoskeletons can help improve the quality of life for the elderly and those with physical impairments. Growing acceptance of bionic technology for healthcare applications will also propel the market forward. The upper limb and lower limb exoskeleton segments are expected to be the key revenue generators.
Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Drivers:
- Increasing incidence of mobility impairing conditions: The rising incidence of mobility impairing conditions such as spinal cord injuries, strokes, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy is a key factor driving the global medical exoskeletons market. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the global incidence of spinal cord injuries is estimated at 40 and 80 cases per million people every year. Strokes are the second-leading cause of disability worldwide with around 50 million stroke survivors globally. These conditions severely limit mobility and ability to perform daily activities. Medical exoskeletons can help such patients walk again with the help of mechanical joints and powered actuators that work in sync with the patient’s movements. Companies are developing compact, lightweight exoskeletons to provide rehabilitation and mobility assistance to patients suffering from debilitating neurological and mobility disorders.
- Growing adoption for workplace ergonomics: The use of medical exoskeletons in workplace environments is increasing owing to their ability to enhance productivity while also preventing musculoskeletal injuries. These devices reduce loading on the upper back and shoulder by providing lift assistance and counterbalance for overhead tasks. This helps in preventing occupational fatigue and the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among industrial workers. Companies such as suitX and RB3D are offering industrial medical exoskeletons that can provide support for overhead tasks and also improve mobility for logistics roles. Their adoption in industrial settings helps improve worker safety, comfort, and workplace ergonomics.
- Favorable reimbursement scenario: The availability of favorable reimbursement policies is accelerating the global adoption of medical exoskeletons. In the U.S., Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services covers medical exoskeletons under the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), which helps patients claim reimbursements. Medical exoskeletons are covered under HCPCS code E0637 and E0638. Several private insurers, like Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, also offer reimbursement for medical exoskeletons prescribed by healthcare professionals. Such coverage policies by public and private bodies are lowering the cost burden on patients, thereby encouraging product adoption.
- Increasing R&D investments: Rising R&D investments by companies to improve exoskeleton technology, along with a growing number of strategic partnerships and regulatory approvals, are propelling market growth. Companies are utilizing advanced technologies, including robotics, actuators, sensors, and AI, to develop high-performance and next-gen exoskeletons. Advances in material science have also enabled the development of lighter, more flexible exoskeletons. Moreover, partnerships between developers, rehabilitation centers and increasing FDA clearances are supporting new product launches, thereby boosting overall market development.
Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Report Coverage
||Market Size in 2023:
||US$ 357.4 Mn
|Historical Data for:
||2018 to 2022
||2023 - 2030
|Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR:
||2030 Value Projection:
||US$ 1,504.8 Mn
- North America: U.S. and Canada
- Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
- Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East: GCC Countries, Israel and Rest of Middle East
- Africa: South Africa, North Africa and Central Africa
- By Type: Lower Body Exoskeletons, Upper Body Exoskeletons, Full Body Exoskeletons, Others (Soft Exoskeletons, Active Exoskeletons, Passive Exoskeletons)
- By Mobility: Mobile Exoskeletons, Stationary Exoskeletons, Fixed Exoskeletons
- By End User: Rehabilitation Centers, Hospitals, Long Term Care Centers, Homecare Settings, Others (Industrial Sites, Military)
Ekso Bionics, ReWalk Robotics, PARKER HANNIFIN CORP, BIONIK, Rex Bionics Ltd, Suit X, CYBERDYNE INC., B-Temia, Wandercraft and ExoAtlet
- Increasing incidence of mobility impairing conditions
- Growing adoption for workplace ergonomics
- Favorable reimbursement scenario
- Increasing R&D investments
|Restraints & Challenges:
- High cost of medical exoskeletons
- Need for trained professionals
- Long product approval procedures
Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Opportunities:
- Growing potential in developing countries: Emerging countries present significant opportunities for market growth owing to the improving healthcare expenditure and infrastructure, along with a rising incidence of physical disabilities. According to the WHO, over 80% of people with disabilities live in developing nations. The adoption of advanced assistive technologies, including exoskeletons, remains limited in these countries. Companies are gradually expanding their focus on emerging economies through distribution alliances to tap the underpenetrated markets. Rising awareness about exoskeletons, along with local partnerships, can help players expand their footprint in developing regions.
- Increasing applications in rehabilitation therapy: The utilization of medical exoskeletons in rehabilitation centers is rising owing to their benefits in aiding customized physical therapy for disabilities caused by neurological disorders and injuries. These devices enable repetitive motion therapies to help rebuild neuro-muscular pathways for stroke survivors. Robotic gait training using exoskeletons is highly effective in re-activating motor skills for walking. Players are developing easy-to-use modular exoskeletons tailored specifically for rehabilitation therapies. Their adoption allows for quantitative assessment of patient recovery, enabling targeted therapy. This presents significant scope for growth in rehabilitation applications.
- Huge potential for pediatric medical exoskeletons: Medical exoskeletons present a vast scope of adoption among pediatric patients suffering from conditions like cerebral palsy, scoliosis, upper limb dysfunctions, and other neuromuscular disabilities. As per estimates, over 4 in 1000 children suffer from cerebral palsy globally. However, the development of pediatric exoskeletons remains limited given the challenges of designing small, adjustable devices as per varying young users. Companies concentrating on compact innovation, modular pediatric exoskeletons can gain a strategic edge in this niche market segment.
- Expanding industrial applications: The growing adoption of industrial exoskeletons for reducing work-related injuries provides opportunities for market expansion. Integration of exoskeletons with technologies including IoT, AI, and machine learning unlocks their potential in industrial environments. Companies are developing connected exoskeletons focused on injury prevention and performance augmentation for manufacturing, warehouse logistics, and infrastructure roles. Their adoption helps boost productivity and workplace safety. Pharmaceutical giants like GSK and Unilever are deploying them in factories for ergonomic benefits. A focus on user-centric designs suitable for long-term industrial use presents lucrative growth prospects.
Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Trends:
- Development of soft actuators for flexible exoskeletons: The incorporation of flexible actuators and smart soft materials is an emerging trend enabling the development of lightweight and compliant exoskeleton designs. Conventional exoskeletons utilize rigid components, which restrict natural movement. Companies are adopting fabric-based soft pneumatic actuators, electroactive polymers, advanced sensors to create flexible, wearable exoskeletons. These provide better comfort, adjustability, freedom of movement for rehabilitation and assistive applications compared to rigid exoskeletons.
- Advancements in robotics and control systems: Innovations in robotics, automation, and control systems such as HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) are supporting the development of next-gen medical exoskeletons. The integration of human-intent reading algorithms, predictive AI, and machine learning algorithms are enabling natural, synchronized movements in self-powered exoskeletons. Companies are incorporating advancements such as improved gear systems, bidirectional communication, predictive joint control, and machine learning algorithms to develop energy efficient, autonomous exoskeletons.
- Development of pediatric exoskeletons: Product development targeted towards the design of adjustable, modular exoskeletons for the treatment of movement disorders in children is rising. Companies are integrating technologies such as remote connectivity, gamification, and AI coaching avatars to develop pediatric exoskeletons focused on enhancing user engagement and rehabilitation therapy outcomes. These innovations help encourage the active participation of children in physical therapy programs leveraging exoskeletons.
- Adoption of connected exoskeletons: The incorporation of connectivity technologies such as IoT and analytics in medical exoskeletons for rehabilitation and industrial applications is rising. Connected exoskeletons allow monitoring device performance parameters along with tracking patient recovery progress through dashboards. This enables clinicians optimize therapy programs and sua quantitative progress data. In industrial settings, connected exoskeletons help minimize workplace injury risks by identifying poor ergonomics and overexertion. Real-time user feedback further helps enhance workplace safety and ergonomic optimization.
Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Restraints:
- High cost of medical exoskeletons: The high cost of medical exoskeletons, ranging to US$30,000 to US$150,000 remains a major adoption barrier globally, especially in developing economies. The expensive components, including sensors, actuators, and control systems, along with low manufacturing volumes contribute to the high costs. This makes them unaffordable for many clinics and patients, hampering widespread adoption. Companies are developing low-cost exoskeletons using cheaper components to improve the cost viability for buyers.
- Need for trained professionals: The safe and effective utilization of sophisticated medical exoskeletons requires supervision by adequately trained healthcare professionals during rehabilitation therapy. However, the availability of skilled physiotherapists trained in using and maintaining exoskeleton devices remains limited. This restricts their adoption by many clinics and rehabilitation centers. Lack of training infrastructure in emerging economies further hampers market growth. Players are conducting training workshops focused on exoskeleton applications to help address this gap.
- Long product approval procedures: Stringent approval policies required for the commercialization of medical exoskeletons as class II medical devices hamper rapid market growth. The product development process from prototyping to commercial launch for new exoskeletons is prolonged owing to extensive evaluation and review processes by regulatory bodies. The COVID-19 pandemic also severely delayed many ongoing approval procedures, thereby restricting new product launches globally. Streamlining regulatory policies for accelerated review of low-medium risk medical exoskeletons can help mitigate this challenge.
New product launches:
- In June 2022, Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: EKSO) (the “Company”), an industry leader in exoskeleton technology for medical and industrial uses, announced that it had received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its robotic exoskeleton EksoNR for use in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. EksoNR is the first exoskeleton device to receive FDA clearance for rehabilitation use in patients with MS, an indication that significantly expands the use of the device to a broader patient population.
- In November 2021, Ottobock, a leading global innovator in prosthetics, orthotics, and exoskeletons, announced the acquisition of 100 percent of suiteX, a U.S.-based company that emerged from the Robotics and Human Engineering Lab at the University of California at Berkeley and specializes in the research and development of professional and medical exoskeletons.
- In January 2021, suiteX announced the launch of a novel wearable exoskeleton: ShieldX. For use by medical personnel who must wear heavy radiation protection aprons, ShieldX relieves the user's shoulders and spine by 100% of the weight of a heavy radiation protection apron. ShieldX aims to reduce neck and back injuries associated with these heavy aprons that shorten careers and limit activities outside of work.
Acquisition and partnerships:
- In December 2022, Ekso Bionics, developer and manufacturer powered exoskeleton bionic devices announced the acquisition of the Human Motion and Control ("HMC") business of Parker Hannifin Corporation, a global leader in motion and control technologies. The acquisition includes the Indego exoskeleton product line for the lower extremities as well as the planned development of robot-assisted orthoses and prostheses.
- In May 2021, Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. announced an expanded partnership with Kindred Healthcare, LLC (“Kindred”), EksoNR, which incorporates a clinically deployed robotic exoskeleton at four of Kindred's Long-Term Acute Care (“LTAC”) hospitals in the U.S. The multi-unit contract follows a successful EksoNR pilot program last year.
- In March 2021, Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. announced a partnership with U.S. Physiatry (USP), a nonprofit organization to educate physicians about the clinical benefits of an EksoNR exoskeleton. USP is the largest inpatient medical practice in the U.S. focused exclusively on physical medicine and rehabilitation. The partnership will help make physicians and other rehabilitation clinicians aware of Ekso Bionics' technology and demonstrate how robotics can be successfully implemented into a rehabilitation program.
Figure 2. Global Medical Exoskeleton Market Share (%), by Type, 2023
Top companies in Global Medical Exoskeleton Market:
- Ekso Bionics
- ReWalk Robotics
- PARKER HANNIFIN CORP
- Rex Bionics Ltd
- Suit X
- CYBERDYNE INC.
Definition: Medical exoskeletons are wearable bionic devices that work in conjunction with the user’s movements to provide mobility assistance and improve strength for people suffering from physical disabilities or muscle weakness. They feature mechanical joints and actuators that enable limb movement using technology such as sensors, controls, and artificial intelligence. Medical exoskeletons allow patients rehabilitation after stroke, spinal cord injury, or multiple sclerosis, as well as assist workers in lifting heavy loads during physically intensive tasks. The increasing incidence of mobility disabilities globally is a key factor driving the adoption of medical exoskeletons. Leading players are focused on developing compact, lightweight exoskeletons with improved battery life to aid both healthcare and industrial applications.
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