COVID-19 Impact on Wearable Devices in the Semiconductor and Electronics Industry
The COVID-19 is a pandemic disease that has created a severe outbreak in all countries starting from China to almost every country. It impacted the human life, world economy, sports sector, industrial sector, and others owing to which lockdown has been initiated for prevention and to lower the spread. To control the disease spread, lockdown is so far the better solution being observed in many countries but it also harms the economy. The electronics industry witnessed a strong hit in the first quarter of 2020 as all manufacturing facilities, retail stores, and other supporting offices, warehouse and transportation has been shut down. The pandemic situation created has also majorly impacted the customer’s financial incomes as companies are closed due to recession, temporary employment, lay off, and other problems that have emerged in the global market. Wearable devices have become an essential part of almost every human life. They provide the ability to track and store your physical activity and that can be tracked at a later time. This can be a great resource, enabling us to set short-term and long-term goals and to track our progress towards them. By receiving real-time notifications about our activity, such as reminders to remind that you have been sitting for a long time, and it’s time to stand and take a quick walk, wearables can also serve as a source of encouragement and motivation mostly for today’s workaholic generation.
As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise day by day, stakeholders in the health care sector are exploring new resources and medicines. Developments in technology and healthcare equipment are now coming on their own and helping us to fight the pandemic. Wearable tech plays a key role in such a case and is successful in tracking a range of physical and physiological parameters such as heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, breathing, sleep and many more which is creating demand for the global wearable devices market.
The wearable devices market has reached the consumer market in different forms such as smartwatches and activity trackers to smart glasses and hearing aids. Currently, increasing usage of wearable devices for predicting COVID-19 is at the growing phase.
Research Translational Institute has started the DETECT (Digital Engagement & Tracking for Early Control & Treatment) Study, the use of wearable devices such as Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin and others to track heart rate, general activity, and sleep data and then to match them with the symptom reports being submitted by the participants to track potential COVID-19 cases. Initial findings of the analysis indicate that in 78 per cent of the 14 patients surveyed, Fitbits can predict COVID-19.
The wearable market relies on consumer purchases and price is one of the leading influencing factors for consumers. Hence, high cost of wearables can restrict the public from purchasing such products which overall hampers the growth of global wearable devices market.
· Impact on demand for wearable devices
· Impact on supply chain
According to Chinese smartphone manufacturers Xiaomi which also provides wearable tech products, the supply chain has been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the logistics sector is the worst hit due to containment emergency measures taken worldwide by various governments. Most of the products purchased are delayed in delivery due to region and countrywide restrictions. China is the biggest manufacturer of wearable devices and due to the outburst of COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan which is a manufacturing hub for such devices has impacted supply chain and value chain for wearable devices. Although, China has recovered well from COVID-19 situations and unlock is introduced countrywide; international boundaries for electronic devices trade has not opened its gates yet.
· Long term strategy adopted by manufacturers or steps taken
· Regional impacts
North America which is known to be the highest user base for wearable tech devices is performing at the lowest level as the U.S. is worst hit by COVID-19 situations. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) market for wearable devices are affected majorly in March and April; however with unlocks taking place in the region demand for wearable devices is gaining pace steadily. Asia-Pacific has recovered well and demand for wearable devices is highest amongst all regions. Along with North America, Latin America is also facing demand and supply chain issues for the wearable devices market. Although, demand in Latin America for wearable devices was not significant before this pandemic, and it has worsened now due to less buying capacity of the population.
As the COVID-19 pandemic exaggerated, different companies including many startups started their involvement to implement such technologies which can ease the burden on both hospitals and clinics despite many problems including shortage of labor, shutdown, and many more. Market players such as Skiin came up with smart clothes, PMD Solutions with RespiraSense for respiratory monitoring, MediBioSense with wearable patches for real-time monitoring, and many more. This is also encouraging other competitors to come up with such innovative solutions that can help the affected people. Apart from the healthcare workers, other people such as Shop-floor workers in manufacturing plants, grocery and delivery workers and even the service technicians are also being affected at this unprecedented time.
Wearable devices have bought value to the market players in different aspects, as at this pandemic situation, these devices proved to be very beneficial and useful as it has permitted an unmatched level of operability for important industries. Not only this, it has also provided a safety layer for delivery workers. Apart from this, online retail giant Amazon has come up with a wearable technology store. Thus, it can be said that global wearable device market will definitely grow and is now emerging as an effective solution. Apart from this, online retail giant Amazon has come up with a wearable technology store. It can be said that in the upcoming days, there will be many chances for the availability of more number of wearable gadgets in the market with an aim of helping people to stay protected and to some extent stop covid-19.