A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that transmits sound signals to the brain. With the cochlear implant, a person can achieve better sentence understanding as compared to hearing aids. At present, cochlear implants are the only effective means allowing the social interaction of individuals suffering from hearing loss. The first cochlear implant was approved by the FDA in 1984, which made 3M an industrial leader.
Increasing incidence of neonates born with hearing defects is driving the market cochlear implant systems. According to WHO hearing loss statistics, each year, approximately, 134 million children are born, out of which approximately 1 to 3 newborns per 1,000 are with hearing loss, which is treatable only with a cochlear implant. Thus, there is a need for a minimum of 134,000 cochlear implants annually. The number of cochlear implants is likely to increase to approximately 160,000 per year if the hearing loss is considered for both ears. Apart from the rising number of patients suffering from hearing loss, technological advancements, strategic initiatives by industry players, and favorable government regulations are driving the growth of the global cochlear implant systems market in 2016. For instance, in1979, the University of Melbourne and Nucleus Limited got approval from the Australian Department of Productivity to manufacture and market 22 cochlear implants. In another event, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the first consensus conference to speed up the acceptance of multi-electrode cochlear implants. Market players are focused on the development of devices with reduced noise, quickly chargeable, long battery life, and waterproof. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current production of hearing loss aids is only 10% of the actual need; thus, there is a lucrative opportunity for new players to enter the global cochlear implant systems market.
The global cochlear implant systems market has been segmented based on type of fitting, end-user, and region. Based on type of fitting, the market is segmented into unilateral implantation and bilateral implantation. The unilateral implantation segment dominates the global cochlear implant systems market owing to low cost. Unilateral implantation is common in adults. The bilateral implantation segment is expected to expand at a fast growth rate during the forecast period owing to rising demand for cochlear implants by pediatric patients suffering from hearing loss. Moreover, several countries are offering reimbursement only for bilateral implantation contributing to the growth of the segment. In terms of end-user, the market is segmented into hospitals, ENT clinics, and other end-users. The ENT clinics segment dominate the global cochlear implant systems market in 2016, owing to increasing patient population suffering from hearing loss, and growing patient preference towards treatment in ENT clinics in emerging countries. According to WHO estimates in 2012, out of the total worldwide population with hearing impairment, 91% were adults and 9% were children.
Geographically, the global cochlear implant systems market is distributed over North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific region is expected to dominate the global cochlear implant systems market owing to the high prevalence of hearing defects in the region. Middle East & Africa region is expected to account for the second largest share in 2016. This is attributable to the highest incidence of otitis media, ear infections owing to lack of proper hygiene practices, and increasing pregnancy and genetic complications leading to hearing loss in neonates. Europe is the next largest market for cochlear implants owing to increasing geriatric population.
Key players operating in the global cochlear implant systems market include MED-EL, Cochlear Limited, Oticon Medical, William Demant Holding A/S, LSVT Global, Inc., PENTAX Medical, EBS Healthcare, Sonova, Gaes Medica, and Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd.
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