The medical clothing market is set for significant growth
The medical clothing market is set for significant growth, according to a report in the latest issue of Performance Apparel markets from the global business information company Textiles Intelligence.
Growth in demand will be underpinned by a number of factors, including: a continued rise in many parts of the world in the incidence of chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and respiratory disorders; ageing populations in many parts of the world; and an increase in the number of surgeries performed in key health care markets such as Europe and the USA.
These factors are presenting significant challenges to public health authorities which must combat illness and disease in a manner which is cost effective. Indeed, the costs of providing health care continue to rise, and for some public health authorities such costs have reached levels which can no longer be sustained. As a result, preventing the spread of infection is of the utmost importance.
Against this backdrop, people are demanding higher levels of patient care. They are also looking for more convenient ways of managing their health and achieving well-being.
In order to meet these demands, researchers and manufacturers have developed high-tech clothing by making use of advances in the fields of electronics, medical technology and textiles. More specifically, such clothing has been shown to protect against infectious diseases, sense the state of the wearer's health, and help in the prevention, treatment and management of ill health.
In a bid to gain the most benefit from the increase in demand for health care, suppliers of medical protective clothing will focus on filling the gap in the market for inexpensive, multi-functional garments which are comfortable to wear. Producers of nonwoven garments are likely to lead the way in developments in this segment, given their strong position in medical protective wear.
Meanwhile, companies which specialise in clothing for health monitoring and well-being are focusing on creating garments which enable individuals to take control of their health and, in the process, reduce their reliance on costly or heavily burdened health care systems.
Innovations in high-tech fabrics and advances in microelectronics have paved the way for developments in this area, and recent innovations include a textile-based belt which can relieve chronic back pain, a belly band which is able to monitor uterine contractions and foetal heart rate in pregnant women, pressure monitoring stockings for use by diabetic patients, and a shirt which delivers shocks to patients experiencing serious heart problems.
Experts believe that wearable technology could revolutionise the practice of health care, and it is hoped that the widespread use of health monitoring garments could help to reduce reliance on costly or heavily burdened health care systems.
This report, "Medical clothing: beneficial applications for health and well-being", was published by the global business information company Textiles Intelligence in Issue No 55 of Performance Apparel Markets.
Other reports published in the same issue include: "Fast track: Adidas and Nike overcome barriers to innovation"; "Product developments and innovations"; "Profile of Strategic Partners: a pioneer in durable and stylish medical apparel"; and "Business update".
Performance Apparel Markets is published four times a year by Textiles Intelligence. Each issue provides an independent and worldwide perspective on the global apparel industry.
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