As per the statistics of WHO, approximately 33% of geriatric population suffer from some degree of hearing loss. The hearing aids market thus, has gone through a sharp hike owing to the expanding geriatric population base globally. Rising prevalence of hearing loss such as congenital hearing problem and nerve deafness coupled with the full or partial reimbursement for these by the governments of various countries has contributed to the spurred demand of these worldwide. Rapid technological advancements are taking place in this market. The most recent innovations being the incorporation of Bluetooth and the introduction of aesthetically appealing, 100% undetectable, waterproof hearing aids. All these advancements have been optimistic for the growth of the market as the new enhanced, cost effective product features are augmenting number of users of these devices.
The key players in global hearing aids market are William Demant Holding A/S, Sonova Holding AG, Siemens AG, Widex A/S, and GN Resound. The companies in this market have to face stringent regulatory compliances and also have to indulge themselves in new product development as a significant amount of consolidation in the manufacturing capabilities has taken place. Companies are thus entering into mergers & acquisitions, and joint ventures to enhance their product features and quality.
Key products analyzed in the hearing aids market include Canal Hearing Aids: Completely-In-Canal (CIC), Invisible-In-Canal (IIC), and In-The-Canal (ITC) and In-The-Ear Aids (ITE), Completely-In-Canal (CIC), Behind-The-Ear Aids (BTE) Receiver-In-The-Ear Aids (RITE). The ITE and BTE hearing aids are more popular owing to connectivity, ease to use, high comfort they provide to patients and their efficiency for hearing impairment or deafness. BTE dominated the overall hearing aids market in terms of share at more than 55.0% in 2013. These are used for treating the profound hearing loss and are more preferred for the treatment of hearing loss in children. The canal hearing aids are expected to rise at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Rising demand for aesthetically appealing and invisible hearing aids owing to the changing lifestyle patterns of people is affecting the growth of this segment positively. Increasing R&D initiatives to improve the performance of these hearing aids are also accounting for the lucrative CAGR.
Analog and digital are major technologies in the hearing aids market. Digital hearing aid technology accounted for the largest revenue share in 2013. Higher relative efficiency and the use of upgraded technology such as Bluetooth and wireless, are the affecting this segment positively. The advantages such as digital speech enhancement and digital noise reduction that digital hearing aids provide over the traditional analog hearing aids have also led to spurred use of them.
Europe emerged as the largest regional market in 2013 holding over 42% of revenue share. Increasing prevalence of hearing impairment and deafness and high purchasing power of patients in the developed countries of Western Europe accounted for the growth of this market. Effective reimbursement policy in each European nation is also the major driver for Europe’s market. The Asia Pacific market during the forecast period is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of over 4.0%. Improvement in the distribution network of global market players coupled with increasing prevalence of age associated hearing problems in geriatric population, are the major drivers for the hearing aids market. Constantly improving healthcare infrastructure, rising patient disposable incomes and increasing awareness levels of patients, increasing adoption of technologically advanced hearing aids in emerging countries such as China and India and growing health care expenditures is a high growth rendering driver for this market.
Research Support Specialist, USA