Audiology devices are the electronic instruments that help the impaired in diagnosing and treating their hearing disorders. The hearing disorders include nerve deafness and congenital hearing problem whereas, sensorineural, conductive and mixed are the hearing losses that people suffer from and can be treated with audiology devices. Audiology devices are also used in studying and monitoring the hearing process by audiologists. Healthcare industries, audiologists and service providers are the main users of these devices. Though the market for these audio devices is still developing, it has undergone some major changes in recent years due to technological advancements. The market for audiology devices is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% over the forecasted period till 2024.
The growing demand for audiology devices is driven by various factors like the increasing number of geriatric population around the world as well as the increasing number of hearing disorders in youth. The number of old people is also rising at a considerable rate compounding the demand for hearing aids. The rising awareness of available audio logical help and the increasing sophisticated healthcare infrastructure are also helping the market to grow. The importance of hearing in communication and the growing disposable income of the populace are also fueling the growth of audiology devices. Yet, the narrowing of price rates, a long shelf life, and new product technology can bottleneck the industry growth. The stringent laws and associated social stigma may also act as a hindrance in the industries growth.
The audiology devices market is segmented in different categories based upon product deployment. These segments are, Cochlear implants, diagnostic devices, bone anchored hearing aids, technological aid and hearing aid. The Cochlear implants give a sense of sound by bypassing the sensory cells, while the diagnostic implants include audiometers and otoscopes. Technology aid devices include various analog and digital devices and the hearing aids receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), behind-the-ear (BTE) and such devices. As of now the hearing aid product segment holds the largest market segment in terms of market share, owing to its ease of use and accessibility. In years to come, the cochlear aids are expected to grow at the highest growth rate.
The audiology devices market has great growth opportunities in the near future due to the rising acceptance of hearing aid and devices and the increasing amount of research and development undertaken. The innovation in industry, efficient and cost effective new products and the growing purchasing power of emerging economies may boost the key players to explore new opportunities. The Governments of some countries too, are pressing for better healthcare infrastructure, hence creating new areas to venture.
Some reputed global vendors of audiology devices are, Sonova Holdings AG, NHC/Amplifon, ReSound, GN ReSound Group, Sophono, William Demant, , Starkey Hearing Technologies, Siemens Healthcare and Widex A/S, Phonak, Audioscan, Cochlear Ltd., Interacoustics, Advanced Bionics, MED-EL, Natus, Duracell and Grason-Stadler. Of these Sonova, William Demant, GN Resound, and Siemens hold the largest market share.
Vendors of audiology devices are using many different strategies like acquisition and mergers, new product and development and partnerships and collaborations to acquire and maintain the competitive edge in the market. The market is expected to be very competitive owing to the presence of a few large players and the similarity in the product offerings. The intellectual property and patenting conflicts also play an important role in the industry dynamics.
In May 2016, Sonova Holding AG, one of the leading vendors of hearing devices announced their plans to acquire AudioNova International B.V., a hearing aid retailer from Europe. This will enhance their reach and professional service and retail and create world’s broadest hearing aid retail.
In September 2015, William Demant Holding AG acquired Audika Groupe, a hearing aid retailer in France. This transaction helped William Demant to maintain their competitive advantage in the European market.
Research Support Specialist, USA