The global audiological devices market is highly consolidated, with the top six players accounting for nearly 97% of the overall market share in 2011, reports Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new study. The key players in the audiological devices market are GN ReSound Group, William Demant Holding A/S, Sonova Holding AG, Starkey Hearing Technologies, Widex A/S, and Siemens Healthcare.
“The strong holdings of these key players overshadow the contribution by other companies and impose a high entry barrier to the new entrants,” says the author of the report. The contribution by local players and some global players such as Panasonic is very low. However, the competitive rivalry is high in the global audiological devices market with all its constituent companies vying to protect their standing.
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Growing Prevalence of Deafness to Present Appreciable Demand for Audiological Devices
According to the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), hearing loss is the third most reported chronic disability affecting the geriatric population. With the growth in the geriatric population worldwide, growth in the cases of sensorineural hearing damage has also been registered. This has helped the demand for audiological devices as a corrective measure, thereby promoting the growth of the global audiological devices market.
There are various factors such as injuries, and genetic factors, infectious diseases, noise pollution, occupational factors, and problems during childbirth, pregnancy, and polypharmacy that lead to hearing loss. The high prevalence of deafness is a major public health issue across the globe. To address this problem, various governments and international organizations are encouraging the use of audiological devices.
Another factor positively influencing the growth of the global audiological devices market is the introduction of cosmetically appealing hearing devices that are small in size and hidden. The growth of these types of devices can be attributed to the changing lifestyles and high purchasing power of the end-users. These factors have consequently boosted the growth of the global audiological devices market.
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Social Stigma to Hamper Sales of Audiological Devices
The high cost of surgical solutions such as bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA) and cochlear implant surgery challenge the patients financially. This problem further amplifies for the uninsured patients, whose population is still low in emerging nations. The patients, thus prefer using conventional hearing aids, thereby hampering the growth rate of the audiological devices market.
The majority of the population suffering from hearing loss tends to be reluctant towards the use of hearing aids and other audiological devices due to the social stigma associated with them. This stigma is likely to negatively influence the growth of the global audiological devices market. However, increasing measures taken by governments, healthcare providers, and hearing aid manufacturers in order to increase the hearing aid awareness amongst the masses may change the mindset. These measures are likely to encourage the growth of the global audiological devices market.