The Barriers of the Assistive Robotics Market—What Inhibits Health Innovation?
Innovation through Barrier Identification
4.1. Market Failure
4.1.1. Access to Highly Fragmented Healthcare Sectors
‘Without contacts, there is not a really a way into it […] you are not exactly going to be able to walk into any care home ask them; do you want a robot? Can we now work with you?’
‘We don’t have a reputation, or much more, products to our names, so that we can go and say, this is a current problem, look what we have done, we got the solution … no one listens’.
4.1.2. Complex Market Infrastructure
‘[regarding the purchasing processes] for someone that is new to the market it is exceptionally difficult to get to the right people, to go to the people that make the choices’.
‘it is quite hard to reach the client, and distributors ask for a lot of money, raising prices’.
4.2. Economic and Financial
4.2.1. Capital and Investment
‘Finance, is so difficult, is not cheap, is an expensive journey, and this stops people from doing it’.
4.2.2. Customer Credit Facilities and Market Size
4.3.1. Poor Legislation, Poor Policies
4.3.2. Lack of University Participation
‘You can’t put a price [university support] but, unfortunately, they are not interested in product development’.
4.3.3. Lack of a Transparent Certification Process
Skilled Health Personnel and System Constraints
4.5. Social, Cultural and Behavioural
Consumers’ Acceptance and Ethical Concerns
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Company||Year Founded||Total Funding Amount (* M$)||Product||Currently Trading|
|Intuition Robotics||2015||22||ElliQ||Pre-sale US|
|Blue Frog Robotics||2014||0.18||Buddy||No|
|Yukai Engineering||2011||--||BOCCO emo||Japan|
|No. of Employees||Registration||Age (Date Reported, Year)||Assets (Last Reported, 1000 Eur)||Currently Trading||Country||Product Description|
|1–10||July-18||0.24||5.6||No||UK||Wheelchair robotic arm|
|1–10||September-17||1.07||75||No||France||Medication reminder robot|
|1–10||August-17||1.16||--||No||UK||Care support robot|
|1–10||August-17||1.16||28.5||No||UK||Medication delivery robot|
|11–20||September-16||2.07||155||Yes||France||Care support robot|
|1–10||September-16||2.07||5||No||France||Assistive robotic arm|
|1–10||July-16||2.24||192.5||Yes||France||Care support robot|
|--||January-16||2.74||--||No||France||Medication delivery robot|
|1–10||July-15||3.25||50||Yes||France||Patient monitoring solution|
|30–50||November-12||5.91||50.3||Yes||France||Indoor projector robot|
|11–50||November-11||6.91||162.5||No||France||Care support robot|
|41–50||2007||11.00||15,400||Yes||France||Robotic air quality purification|
|Market Failure||Access to the healthcare sector||‘without contacts, there is not really a way into it’|
|Highly fragmented healthcare sector||‘there are many different people involved’, ‘you can’t get to the people that make the choices’, ‘is quite hard to reach the client’|
|Poor market infrastructure||‘you have to manufacture where the skills are’|
|Distrust in entrepreneurs||‘people see us as buyers, instead of people trying to help others doing what we love’, ‘doors are not open to entrepreneurs with good ideas’|
|High investment requirements||‘is not cheap, is an expensive journey’, ‘this stop people for doing, the cost puts an extra weight’|
|Economic and Financial||High cost of capital||‘bring a project together and fund that project is really really difficult’|
|Lack of/inadequate access to capital||‘there are not investment opportunities for hardware’|
|High up-front capital costs for investors||‘there is great risk involved in funding hardware companies’|
|Lack of access to credit for the consumer||‘[the product] might be too expensive for the final user’, ‘you need to work on B2B’|
|Small market size||‘we don’t know how the UK [healthcare] systems work’, ‘we will need someone to help us get to that market’|
|Institutional||Lack of institutions and mechanisms||‘there is a lack of directives’, ‘government support is minimal’|
|Lack of a legal/regulatory framework||‘AI should be transparent’, ‘[healthcare segment] they are reluctant’|
|Lack of stakeholders’ involvement in decision making||‘this is a problem, we got the solution, and no one listen [to entrepreneurs]’|
|Lack of universities’ participation||‘you can’t put a price [university support] but, unfortunately, they are not interested in product development’|
|Lack of a clear certification process||‘we cannot pursue a medical certification’|
|Technical||Lack of skilled care personnel||‘they haven’t seen a robot, so they don’t know how to use it’|
|Systems constraints||‘[challenge] to know what technology to use’, ‘integrate all the technology is the main problem’|
|Social, Cultural and Behavioural||Lack of consumer acceptance||‘is quite hard to reach the client’, ‘is not here to take people jobs’|
|Unfounded moral and ethical concerns of AR||‘[invest time] to convince people to have the robot’, ‘is not going to spy you’|
|1. Market Failure|
|Access to the healthcare sector||Access to patients for product co-creation. Disrupts the whole development process.|
|Highly fragmented healthcare sector||Different stakeholders and organisations. Slows down technology acquisition.|
|Poor market infrastructure||Lack of manufacture opportunities in Europe. Increases final product cost and slows technology acquisition.|
|Distrust in entrepreneurs||Disrupts the development process and technology adoption.|
|High investment requirements||High seed funding needed to develop prototypes. Builds an entry barrier for entrepreneurs. Discourages entrepreneurs.|
|2. Economic and Financial|
|High cost of capital||Fundamental differences between software and hardware investment requirements. Creates a lack of capital, high-interest rates, and risk perception by financial organisations. Impacts on economic viability.|
|Lack of/inadequate access to capital||No awareness of hardware development implications. Impacts market competition and market efficiency.|
|High up-front capital costs for investors||High seed funding need increases risk perception. Lack of understanding of AR investment needs.|
|Lack of access to credit for the consumer||High product cost. Under-developed credit market. Reduces market size.|
|Market size small||Fragment healthcare system between regions and countries. Prevents product scale and potential gains, reducing the appeal for entry of newcomers.|
|Lack of institutions and mechanisms||Missing agencies at the planning level to support AR development. Inhibits information dissemination between producers and consumers, creating extra costs for companies.|
|Lack of a legal/regulatory framework||Generates liability and concerns in the adoption of new technology.|
|Lack of stakeholders’ involvement in decision making||No seeking of the involvement of developers. Creates misplaced priorities, making policymaker bodies unaware of the market barriers.|
|Lack of universities’ participation||Impacts on recruitment and R&D opportunities.|
|Lack of a transparent certification process||No clear the path for certification of AR devices. Disrupts market entry of new products.|
|Lack of skilled care personnel||Slows down technology adoption, creates extra expenses.|
|Systems constraints||Integration problems with healthcare IT infrastructure. Producers cannot realise the market.|
|5. Social, Cultural and Behavioural|
|Lack of consumer acceptance||Fears surrounding the broader impact of AR, for example, fear of robots taking jobs. Reduces the market size.|
|Unfounded moral and ethical concerns of AR||Affects market size and technology adoption.|
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Aguiar Noury, G.; Walmsley, A.; Jones, R.B.; Gaudl, S.E. The Barriers of the Assistive Robotics Market—What Inhibits Health Innovation? Sensors 2021, 21, 3111. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093111
Aguiar Noury G, Walmsley A, Jones RB, Gaudl SE. The Barriers of the Assistive Robotics Market—What Inhibits Health Innovation? Sensors. 2021; 21(9):3111. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093111Chicago/Turabian Style
Aguiar Noury, Gabriel, Andreas Walmsley, Ray B. Jones, and Swen E. Gaudl. 2021. "The Barriers of the Assistive Robotics Market—What Inhibits Health Innovation?" Sensors 21, no. 9: 3111. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093111