The Geriatric Care market – A worldwide trend equals a vast world of business opportunities (Part 1)

In this 2-part article, we will explore the geriatric care market. Not only will we list trends, market value, and medtech opportunities, but we will also explore the organizational aspects that are changing, innovative solutions that are being introduced, and new care models that are emerging.

This first half highlights the impressive elderly population growth figures across the globe, and the impressive market value figures that accompany the medical device and service markets to care for the elderly. We will also look at specific social and organizational drivers that are feeding the developments of elderly care markets.

In the second part, we will further explore the market evolutions themselves and the trends arising within; such as market consolidations, shifts in care models (from medication to prevention, carer roles, preference for home-based care, value-based payments, etc.) and highlight some innovative community-based solutions to the challenge of caring for our rising numbers of elderly citizens. Part 2 concludes with concrete market opportunities within the sectors in regards to medtech, pharmaceutical and service sectors.

The key success factor is: to be aware of the market changes, in order to be ready with supply, wherever and whatever the demand may be.

What makes the geriatric market so attractive is its high dependency on services and medtech. From fluid management systems, heart medication, lasers, robotic devices, diagnostics, pulmonary delivery equipment, etc. (the list goes on and on); the ageing of populations have positive impacts on medtech/pharma market growth and revenues.

Introducing the challenge

An unavoidable theme when investigating (almost) every national healthcare market, across the globe, is the greying of the population. The ageing of the population is always intrinsically linked to the profound implications of the sustainability of elderly care, and the financial viability of carrying a large share of the population whilst the working-age demographic is in a minority share.

The pressures to provide qualitative healthcare delivery to a growing elderly population, calls for some drastic organizational and structural adaptations in our healthcare provisions and facilities. Not only are we seeking and finding new innovative solutions, and expanding existing care approaches, we desperately need the inputs from the medical technology, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical sectors to aid us in supplying geriatric care services and markets.

Market values

Geriatric care services market

The global market for geriatric care services is growing at a CAGR of 7% and is expected to reach €932 bn by the year 2022.

Looking at select regions (North America, China, Japan, India, Brazil, Mexico, S. Africa, Spain, France and Germany), the market value for care services amounts to €630 bn in 2016.

The service sector, for a developed economy such as the UK for example, is split as follows:

  • Institutional care market share– 37.6%
  • Home care market share – 41%
  • Adult day care share– 21.4%
Global home HC *
  • Estimated at €249 bn in 2016, with a yearly growth rate of 8% until 2020.
  • Including devices, services and related products
Global technologies for long-term and home HC devices*
  • Growth estimates for the global long-term and home healthcare technology markets reach as high as CAGR 18% for 2013-2020, and was valued at €5.1 bn in 2016.
  • Referring to home telehealth (monitoring etc.) and safety (assisted-calling, fall management, medication management, mobility assistance, etc.)
Global assistive devices*
  • Global market estimated at €17 bn in 2015, with a CAGR of 6% from 2015-2020.
  • Referring to furniture, wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc. for geriatric and other patient groups.
  • The elderly care robot market is valued at €13 bn in 2016.
  • The assistive telehealth market, in the form of skype-type communication functions installed on mobile robots, is estimated to generate €4.2 bn in revenue in 2018; a growth of almost 3000% since 2013.
  • Japan expects a market growth of 640% for their elderly-care robots over the next 20-30 years, raising the current market value of €128 m to €920 m annually. Other estimates suggest a market value as high as €3.4 bn by 2020.
  • In 2014, globally, 4,420 elderly and handicap-assistance robots were sold. Sales are expected to grow by 635% over the years to follow, reaching 32,500 robot units sold by 2018.
Asia home HC devices*
  • Saw an exponential growth of 650% over the last 5 years, reaching an estimated market value of €13.8 bn in 2017.
  • Referring only to medtech devices, no services.
Asia-Pacific mobile health service market*
  • Estimated to value €7.4 bn by 2018.
  • Highest market shares for diagnostic services and telemonitoring.
    – China will be the largest revenue-generating market, representing €2.7 bn in 2018.
    – Second largest market is expected to be Japan, representing €1.4 bn.Japan’s entire home healthcare market is estimated at €24 bn (2016), particularly in demand/large product segments include hearing aids, wheelchairs, handrails, products for bed-ridden patients, convalescent beds, and adult diapers.
    – Third largest mobile health service market held by India with €0.921 bn.
US market
  • In the US alone, the elderly care market was valued at €368 m in 2016, with a CAGR from 2014-2020 of 7%.
  • Including pharmaceuticals, assistive and home care technologies/devices, housing services, etc.)
  • In 2015, 55% of US Medicaid long-term expenditure went to home and community based services.

*Market values are not always strictly limited to geriatric patient consumers.

Population trends

  • A growth of 56% from 2015 to 2030 of individuals aged 60 years and older is expected across the globe.
    • Equal to 1/6 of all people by 2030 being 60 years old or over.
  • The UN forecasts that by 2050 there will be close to 2.1 bn people age 60 years and older; double that of 2015.
    • Equal to 1/5 of all people by 2050 being 60 years or over.
  • Fastest ageing regions in the next 15 years:
    • Latin America and the Caribbean’s population of 60 years+ is forecasted to grow the quickest at 71% by 2030.
    • Asia – 66%
    • Africa – 64%
    • Oceania – 47%
    • North America – 41%
    • Europe – 23%
  • In 2030, the following regions will have these shares of elderly people:
    • North America – 25%
    • Europe – 25%
    • Oceania – 20%
    • Asia – 19%
    • Latin America and the Caribbean – 17.5%
    • Africa – 6%
  • In the next 50 years, the older demographics of all developing nations combined, will outnumber the amount of people of all other age groups in developed economies.
    • Developing economies are forced to adjust to the greying population more rapidly than already developed nations, as they have not had the same time spans to adjust to the new demographic composition as developed economies have had.
  • Aged populations are most prevalent in the most developed economies, and in the future the elderly growth trends will be strongest in urban regions.


  • Typically, HC expenditure on elderly (aged 55 and over) is approximately 3-5 times higher than for those of a younger age.
  • Wishing to live independently until a high age is driving home-care technologies and related services to foster community-based living and self-sufficiency.
  • Reimbursements are becoming better and more complete, covering wider types of services, from temporary day care visits up to home visits, to help with domestic chores and or clinical care services.
  • Regulatory changes and systemic improvements seeking to accommodate the needs of elderly care in regards to financing, as well as to generate incentives and opportunities for services and medtech; encouraging innovation and market competition.
  • Elderly are more prone to chronic conditions and other physical and mental illnesses; a growing elderly population, is a growing client base with a wide array of potential needs to care for through technology, pharma and or services.
  • Increasing technological developments and pharmaceutical therapies accelerate growth in all geriatric-affiliated markets, creating greater diversity in possible treatments, wider product lines and care approaches.
  • Underdeveloped institutionalized nursing homes and elderly centers in Asia, are boosting the popularity and need for in-home care devices and services.
  • Japan has 16 different types of home healthcare insurance coverage, typically covering up to 90% of homecare services and devices (including home renovations up to equipment rental).
  • Traditional carer roles are shifting throughout the world, as families migrate from rural to urban settings or move countries, more women join the workforce, people have less children and a smaller familial network to fall back on, etc.
  • Rising awareness that there is an urgent care deficit for elderly citizens

Make sure to check out part 2 on Geriatric Care Markets, where we highlight the evolutions, developments and trends within the organization of elderly HC, and the opportunities within it.

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About Laura Weynants

Performs primary and secondary market research to create country reports at TforG. Interviews KOLs and medical sector professionals to build on TforG’s healthcare market expertise and competence networks. Complementing five years of sustainability policy and CSR communication, she now focuses on grasping key medical market trends, structures and opportunities in medical sectors worldwide. Coming from an international background of living in Germany, Spain, USA, UK and Belgium, she has gained a keen insight in international organizations and language skills to perform first hand investigations. She graduated from Sussex University Brighton, UK with a BA English Literature and Sociology and achieved a Master Degree in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in EOI Business School in Madrid, Spain.