Companion robots offer companionship and emotional support for the children, elderly, and disabled people. Over the years, the improvements in sensors, actuators, and AI have led to rise in interest in healthcare companion robots market.
Rise in an aging population, the rising cost of elder care, and shortage of caregivers
The population across the globe is aging and the number of caregivers in relation to the aging population is declining. In Japan, there will be an estimated shortage of 1 million caregivers by 2025. Moreover, the cost of elder care is also rising. Between 2019 and 2020, the cost of in-home care jumped by about 4.4%; assisted living costs surged by 6.2%; and nursing home costs increased by 3%. The use of robots instead could help reduce this cost. For instance, a monthly service contract for Stevie (a robot developed by Trinity College, Dublin) would likely run between 50-60% of the cost of hiring a human to do the same tasks, as per their claim.
“The growing disparity between healthcare workforce and aging population is a concern in many countries and we believe companion robots have a great role to play in bridging this gap.” – CEO, Leading Medical Robots Company
Healthcare Companion Robots Market demand has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic
Companion robots saw a surge in demand during the pandemic as lockdowns intensified problems of isolation. Companion robot sales of the company called Sharp increased 30% during the September quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. Further, companies also launched new robots to cater to COVID-19 infected/isolated people. Hanson Robotics launched a robot called Grace in June 2021–designed to interact with the elderly and isolated COVID-19 people.
New product launches to drive growth in developed and emerging markets
Growing life expectancy and aging population is expected to drive the adoption of healthcare companion robots market through new product launches. For instance, in March 2022, Intuition Robotics announced the commercial launch of its digital care companion, ElliQ in South Florida (U.S.). Further, Emotix has developed a companion robot (Miko) targeted towards children of young parents in India.
The key players operating in the global healthcare companion robots market are Blue Frog Robotics, ASUS Zenbo, Intuition Robotics, No Isolation, Luvozo, Honda Robotics, Paro (AIST), DFRobot, Hanson Robotics, among others.
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