Hearing Aids Market
Global Industry Analysis (2017 – 2020), Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2021 – 2025)
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Increasing Number of Patients with Hearing Loss and Tech Innovations in Hearing Aid Devices Fuel Hearing Aids Market Growth
Hearing aids devices are typically prescribed for patients affected with sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. Worldwide, ~466 million people suffer from hearing loss and this number is anticipated to double by 2050 due to the expanding ageing population and new cases of hearing loss caused by noise exposure, ototoxicity, and untreated ear infections. Technological interventions are likely to favour the growth of the global hearing aids market. Innovations such as wireless hearing aids devices and AI-enabled hearing aids are creating new opportunities of revenue generation. Cochlear implants are particularly gaining ground in cases of childhood hearing loss, which further supports market growth.
Low Access to Audiological Care Creates Untapped Market with High Growth Potential
As per the global estimates by World Health Organization (WHO), around 15% of adults have some degree of hearing impairment. As per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Fact Sheet, only 20% people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use it. The usage of hearing aids in developed markets for severe-to-profound hearing loss is higher compared that used for mild-to-moderate hearing loss. As per the estimations of Sonova Group, 70% of people with severe-to-profound hearing loss use hearing aid instruments up against only 10% of people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Roughly 80% of people with hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries in developing regions and the overall rate of penetration deepens as low as 3%. Affordable hearing care is still a challenge for people in emerging countries.
Sales of Hearing Aids Slumped During COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a temporary decline in sales of hearing aids as the situation is forcing the system to postpone or cancel all the non-emergency elective procedures amid the crisis. This posed a direct impact on the performance of hearing aid devices worldwide. Statistical data by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) reveals that the hearing aid sales in the US dropped by almost 18% in 2020.
Demographic Dividends to Drive Hearing Aids Market Growth
Demographic dividends such as the expanding ageing population and increasing life expectancy are anticipated to drive the growth of the global hearing aids market. There are increasing point of sales activities; for instance, Greenfield store openings and testing of new distribution channels. A significant number of newborns who qualify for a cochlear hearing implant remains the reason for continuous market expansion. Sleek, cosmetically appealing designs of hearing aids and implants are also attracting a greater number of end users. In developed economies, younger and less-affected people are inclining towards hearing aids as the technology advances and contributes to better sound quality, and compact and discreet-looking devices.
Economic Growth in Developing Countries to Boost Hearing Aids Consumption
The growth has been anticipated as the increasing middle-class population in emerging economies is boosting the consumption significantly. Many companies are strategizing in the market with a strong focus on the potential of emerging markets to serve the demands of these newly empowered consumers with suitable product formats. In addition, new indication approvals and new market entries are sustaining sales of hearing implants and presenting modest growth projections for hearing devices. The fact that many developing countries lack trained health personnel, educational facilities, and necessary data to address the needs of those living with hearing problems aggravates this challenge.
Advanced Technological Solutions to Shape Future Growth of Hearing Aids Market
The hearing aids market is highly diverse and requires a broad range of technologically advanced solutions in addition to extensive customer service channels. Researchers are actively working on different ways to apply new signal processing strategies to the design of hearing aids. NIDCD-funded researchers are also studying how hearing aids can enhance speech signals to improve understanding. In addition, researchers are investigating the use of computer-aided technology to design and manufacture more efficient hearing aids. They have been seeking methods to improve sound transmission and reduce noise interference, feedback, and the occlusion effect. Additional studies focusing on new ways to manage hearing aids selection and fitting in children and different age groups whose hearing ability is hard to test.
Another promising research focus is on the use of lessons learned from animal models to design better microphones for hearing aids. NIDCD-supported scientists are studying the tiny fly Ormia ochracea because its ear structure allows the fly to determine the source of a sound easily.
An Oligopolistic Market Consolidates Further; Top Brands Bank on Acquisitions
Five leading manufacturers capture ~90% of the global hearing aids market and focus primarily on high-income countries (HIC) and high-value market segments in LMICs such as wealthier urban population. Around 70% of hearing aid units are sold in Europe and North America.
The big five in the market, Sonova Group, GN Hearing A/S, Demant A/S, WS Audiology, and Starkey Hearing Technologies, have strong product diversification - multiple brands with features and price (In the range of ~$600 to $3000 per unit for high-end models), allowing them to target different market segments. This is the result of both in-house product development and strategic acquisitions. These companies also leverage technical hurdles to switch between suppliers and build exclusive contact with audiologists to retain market dominance.
Some of the other players in the hearing aids market are Cochlear Limited., SeboTek Hearing Systems, LLC, Audina Hearing Instruments, Inc., RION Co., Ltd., Horentek Hearing Diagnostics S R L, Microson S.A., and Arphi Electronics Private Limited.