May 22, 2024

Electric Wheelchair Market is Estimated to Witness High Growth Owing to Rising Population with Physical Disabilities

Electric wheelchairs provide independent and convenient mobility assistance to individuals with limited mobility due to physical disabilities or medical conditions. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, electric wheelchairs can travel long distances on a single charge and are controlled through joystick, touchpad, or external devices.

Market Dynamics:

The global electric wheelchair market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to two key drivers- firstly, the growing geriatric population globally which is more prone to mobility issues. As per World Population Prospects 2019 report by UN, the world’s population aged 65 years or over numbered 703 million in 2019 and is projected to reach 1.5 billion in 2050. Secondly, rising incidence of road accidents and physical disabilities due to trauma injuries is also propelling the demand for electric wheelchairs for assisted mobility. Between the ages of 15 and 29, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death.

Electric Wheelchair Market Drivers:

Increasing geriatric population and rising prevalence of disabilities

The global elderly population is rising rapidly due to increasing life expectancy and declining birth rates. According to the WHO, the population aged 60 years and over is expected to grow from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion by 2050. As age advances, the risk of mobility impairments and disabilities increases substantially. The number of people suffering from degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis also escalates with growing age. Electric wheelchairs help senior citizens and disabled individuals to maintain independence and improve their quality of life. With more people living longer lives with mobility limitations, the demand for powered wheelchairs is set to rise significantly in the coming years.

Rising healthcare expenditure in developing nations

Healthcare spending has been rising globally, especially in developing countries as their economies expand. Countries are allocating greater resources towards improving public health facilities and ensuring availability of assistive devices for the elderly and disabled. Financial aid and subsidy programs are also being implemented to promote usage of mobility equipment. This has made electric wheelchairs more affordable for people requiring long-term care. Developing countries now account for a major share of the global healthcare expenditure which is promoting adoption of electric wheelchairs.

Electric Wheelchair Market Restrain:

High cost of powered wheelchairs

While electric wheelchairs provide unmatched mobility support, their costs remain unaffordable for many. Powered wheelchairs equipped with the latest technologies and custom configurations can cost anywhere between $3,000 to $50,000 or more in some cases. Costly upgrades like cushioned seats, ramp accesses and customized controllers also add to the expenses. Medical insurance plans often have limited or no coverage for wheelchairs. This barrier prevents people with limited financial means from accessing powered wheelchairs even if recommended by doctors. However, availability of rental and subsidized wheelchair programs is gradually expanding access in some regions.

Electric Wheelchair Market Opportunity:

Advancements in electric wheelchair technologies

Rising R&D investments by wheelchair manufacturers are spurring product innovations. Technologies including lithium-ion batteries with higher capacities, lightweight foldable frames, intelligent controllers and connectivity solutions are enhancing functionality. Personal activity trackers and remote monitoring allow users to track vitals, movements and locations. Voice control, pressure sensors and joystick replacements based on muscle signals are also emerging to improve usability for severely impaired users. These innovations are expanding the target market beyond traditional users. Additionally, customized configurations for pediatric users and bariatric patients present new opportunities. Technological advancements will be a key factor driving the future demand for powered wheelchairs.

Electric Wheelchair Market Trends:

Increasing demand for lightweight powered wheelchairs

With growing health awareness and independent living trends, consumers prefer wheelchairs that provide maximum mobility without compromising portability. Lightweight and foldable designs help users easily transfer in/out of vehicles and store/transport wheelchairs when not in use. Lightweight aluminum frames, carbon composite materials and portable lithium batteries enable significant weight reduction compared to traditional steel counterparts. Major players are focusing on developing feature-rich yet ultra-light wheelchairs weighing below 55 lbs. Features like transport locks and single hand disassembly further enhance portability. The demand for portable wheelchairs is expected to rise robustly in the coming years with more users participating in active lifestyles.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it