The global hearing aids market was valued at USD 4.5 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow with a CAGR of 4.3% over the forecast period. The high growth is expected on account of increasing deafness resulting from increased noise pollution levels, genetic factors, ear infections, birth complications and other factors. The aging population is at a high risk of suffering from hearing loss. In addition, the rise in demand for technologically advanced and aesthetically appealing miniature devices propels the market growth.
The WHO estimates suggests that over 5% of the global population, suffers from disabling hearing impairment. Moreover, nearly 15% of the global adult population is affected by some degree of hearing loss. Majority of which is found in the less developed nations. Additionally, the estimates also suggest that approximately one-third of the population over 65 years of age suffers from disabling hearing loss. The inability to communicate leads to feeling of social exclusion, loneliness, and frustration, especially amongst the aged people. Moreover, the prevailing high unmet need of these instruments globally is anticipated to lead the market growth.
Many manufacturers are developing devices that can be embedded in the ear making them invisible, to overcome the social stigma associated with such devices. Bluetooth connectivity feature in the devices helps the users have a better quality of life. Furthermore, the introduction of digital signal processing has revolutionized this market. Technological developments such as digital noise reduction and speech enhancement are also expected to facilitate the market growth.
These devices are sold through multiple channels such as company-owned stores, hearing aids clinics, bigbox retailers and through government agencies. The trade margins for the hearing aids are huge and are negotiated based on the buyer’s purchasing power. The U.S. Veteran Affairs department is one of the major buyers with high negotiation power. In the U.S., Amplifion, bigbox retailers such as Walmart, Costco and Sams occupy a major share in the retail market. The retailers find this segment to be profitable owing to the large purchasing power and presence across major centers in the U.S.
Furthermore, the retail industry dynamics are expected to change rapidly as some of the major manufacturers such as Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Siemens), Sonova Holding AG, William Demant Holdings A/S are making rapid strides in the retail sector.
This segment held the largest share in 2015 accounting for 47.1% in 2015. It is a leading product segment owing to the advantages associated with it such as its high efficiency, better connectivity, and ease of use.
However, the canal aids segment is projected to be the fastest growing with a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period. The rising demand for invisible and aesthetically appealing devices as well as rising need of enhanced listening experience drives the market.
This segment accounted for the majority of the share in 2015 of 85%. The key contributors to the growth include their ability to provide enhanced listening experience in noisy environments and wireless connectivity with smart phones. The segment is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period with a CAGR of 4.8% due to its high efficiency and better performance.
In 2015, Europe accounted for the maximum revenue share of 38.3% followed by North America. The large share of Europe can be attributed to factors such as growing geriatric population base, increasing prevalence of hearing loss in the region, and high purchasing power of the patients. Also, the growing awareness about these healthcare devices contributes to the large share of the region.
Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest growing region with a CAGR of 5.4% over the forecast period. The developing countries in Asia-Pacific region, such as India and China, exhibit potential market expansion opportunities due to various contributing factors, such as the large patient pool and surge in the aging population, upsurge in hearing-related problems, increasing awareness amongst the patients, and developing healthcare infrastructure & services due to the growing government funding.
Some key players in the market are GN ReSound, William Demant Holdings A/S, Sonova Holding AG, Sivantos Pte Ltd. (Siemens), Widex A/S, and Starkey Hearing Technologies. These players are consistently involved in developing innovative and technically advanced devices. A series of mergers and acquisitions make it a highly consolidated market.
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