Audiology devices are electronic instruments that are designed for diagnosing and treating hearing impairment. These devices are highly efficient for treating hearing impairment such as nerve deafness and congenital hearing problem. Sensorineural, conductive and mixed hearing loss are the three types of hearing loss and as per severity, it is classified into mild, severe, moderate and profound. Audiology devices are gaining importance across the world as communication is the most important skill which improves relationships and retains independence. The increasing prevalence of deafness especially in geriatric population is expected to drive growth over the forecast period. Major driving factors for the growth of this market are increasing the occurrence of hearing impairment in young as well as old population, rising purchasing capacity, interventions of government for improving healthcare infrastructure and increasing investments in R&D sector.
In addition to this, the rising demand for cost-effective and efficient devices, advancements in technologies especially the introduction of wireless devices, increasing awareness regarding the benefits and acceptance of these devices by geriatric population are some other drivers responsible for the growth of this market. The main customers for these devices are audiologists, healthcare industries and service provider. Development of new product with high efficiency and more shelf life and narrowing price rate are the restraining factors in the Audiology devices market. Key players are implementing various strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, new product development, joint ventures, partnerships and others. Medical technology and healthcare companies are setting standards by manufacturing Audiology devices with the help of various technological advancements. Companies have to face many challenges such as too many key players offering same products which may create confusion, strict regulatory legislation for fair trade practices and life expectancy of these devices.
The overall Audiology devices on the basis of its product is segmented into Cochlear implants, diagnostic devices, bone anchored hearing aids, technological aid and hearing aid. Diagnostic devices include tympanometers, audiometers, and otoscopes. Technology aid devices include digital hearing and analog hearing. Hearing aids include in-the-ear (ITE) aids, receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) aids, behind-the-ear (BTE) aids, and canal hearing aids such as the in-the-canal hearing aid (ITC), invisible-in-canal (IIC) and completely-in-canal (CIC). A cochlear implant is an electronic device which bypasses damaged sensory hair cell and gives a sense of sound. It does not cure deafness but act as a substitute for hearing. Basic parts of the cochlear implant are microphones, speech processor, transmitter, receiver, and stimulator. There are few manufacturers of cochlear implants which produces different implants with a different number of electrodes. A cochlear implant achieves an average of 80% sentence understanding as compared to hearing aids with 10% sentence understanding. Innovation in implantation techniques are associated with reduced risk of infection, complications, operating time and improving the patient's ability to hear. Demand for invisible-in-canal hearing aids and complete-in-canal hearing aids are expected to boost the Audiology devices market. Bone anchored devices and cochlear implants are recent introductions in the Audiology devices market. The market of cochlear implants is expected to grow at the rapid pace during the forecast period. The most popular Audiology devices are in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) due to high comfort, connectivity, easy to use and highly efficient for deafness or hearing impairment.
North America dominated the audiology devices market in 2013, followed by the European market due to increased prevalence of deafness coupled with the presence of high patient disposable incomes and sophisticated healthcare infrastructure. The Asia Pacific Audiology market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to increasing geriatric population and age-related hearing problems, constantly improving healthcare infrastructure, rising health care expenditures and increasing awareness of advanced Audiology device development and adoption in emerging countries such as India and China.
Key players of this market include William Demant Holdings A/S, GN ReSound Group, Sonova Holdings AG, Starkey Hearing Technologies, Siemens Healthcare and Widex A/S, Phonak, Audioscan, Cochlear Ltd., Interacoustics, ReSound, Rayovac, Advanced Bionics, MED-EL, Natus, Duracell, Grason-Stadler, Sophono, Oticon, MedRx, Power One, Austar Hearing, National Hearing Care, and NHC/Amplifon.
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