Audiometers are devices employed to evaluate the level of hearing and to quantify and diagnose the degree of hearing loss. Audiometers consist of embedded hardware and a test subject feedback button connected to a pair of headphones. This system is controlled by a standard PC. The method of testing the hearing capacity is known as audiometry. Types of audiometry procedures include pure tone audiometry, immittance audiometry, speech audiometry, and evoked response audiometry. Pure tone audiometry is a process in which a patient is made to hear pure tones such as high-pitched tones at frequent intervals to determine the level of hearing loss. Speech audiometry is similar to pure tone audiometry, in terms of process followed; however, pure tones are replaced by human speech to determine the extent and area of hearing loss. Immittance audiometry is a process in which resistance offered by the ear parts to incoming sound is measured.
The global audiometers market is projected to witness modest growth, attributed to rise in the usage of digital and portable audiometers. Technological advancements have led to the development of PC-based audiometers and hybrid audiometers to improve quality of life and communication. Additionally, adoption of audiometers is increasing owing to the rise in incidence and prevalence of hearing disability among the global population. The factors contributing to the growth of this hearing disability include noise, trauma, genetic reasons, aging, and viral and bacterial infections, among others. The high cost of the devices, and the lack of trained experts in using the audiometers, might hamper the market growth in the future.
The global audiometers market can be segmented based on product type, application, end-user, and region. In terms of product type, the market can be categorized into hardware, software, and digital audiometers. Hardware audiometers can be calibrated and are commonly found in clinical and industrial applications. Software audiometers can be defined as devices which have a pre-defined configuration and cannot be calibrated. Digital audiometers have combined features of both hardware and software audiometers and are employed primarily by speech and hearing therapists working in educational institutions. The digital audiometers segment is anticipated to witness strong growth due to advantages such as the ability to transfer results obtained in digital format to other devices connected to the Internet. Based on application, the global audiometers market can be bifurcated into diagnostic and screening. In terms of end-user, the market can be segmented into hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, audiology centers, ENT clinics, and research centers.
Geographically, the global audiometers market can be segmented into five regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America accounted for the largest share of the global market in terms of revenue in 2016 and the trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Strong growth of the market in the region can be attributed to well-established health care infrastructure, increase in awareness among people, and rise in prevalence of hearing disorders. Europe is expected to be the second largest market for audiometers. However, sluggish economy in the region is likely to negatively impact the market. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a high CAGR owing to factors such as increase in patient population and rise in government focus on enhancing health care facilities.
Key players operating in the global audiometers market are Auditdata A/S, BioMed Jena GmbH Biomedizinische Technik, William Demant Holding Group, Audioscan, (a Division of Etymonic Design Incorporated), ECHODIA, Natus Medical Incorporated, INVENTIS srl, GAES MÉDICA, Auritec - Medizindiagnostische Systeme GmbH, Otometrics A/S, PATH MEDICAL GmbH, and Amplivox Limited, among others.
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