Diagnostic audiological devices are used for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairment. Major diagnostic devices used by audiologists are audiometers, otoscopes, and tympanometers. The diagnosis procedure for hearing impairment involves ear examination with the aid of such devices. These devices enable effective diagnosis of the type and degree of hearing loss. High prevalence of hearing loss due to aging, genetic factors, occupational factors, and accidents drives demand for technologically advanced diagnostic audiological devices globally.
The global diagnostic audiological devices market is driven by increase in geriatric population and the resultant rise in prevalence of age-related hearing loss, high prevalence of deafness in both adults and children, especially in developing economies, and the rise in adoption of technologically advanced hearing aids and those with cosmetic appeal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 5% (360 million) of the global population suffers from hearing loss. Of these, 328 million are adults and 32 million are children. The WHO also estimated that around 33% of the population aged over 65 years is affected by hearing loss, thus affecting a total of 165 million people. Early and efficient diagnosis of hearing impairment ensures effective treatment measures to enhance the hearing capacity of a patient. Audiometers are the most popular devices used by audiologists and are used for primary investigation of hearing impairment. Occurrence of severe forms of hearing impairment is usually due to factors such as chronic ear infection and genetic predisposition.
The global diagnostic audiological devices market can be segmented based on type of device, distribution channel, and region. In terms of type of device, the global market can be classified into audiometers, otoscopes, and tympanometers. Audiometers are instruments used to evaluate hearing loss in an individual. Audiometers can be categorized into five major types: pure tone, automatic, speech, extended high frequency, and free field equivalent audiometers. Tympanometers are used to evaluate the functioning of the middle ear and mobility of the tympanic membrane with the aid of air pressure variations in the ear canal. These devices are vital for distinguishing conductive and sensorineural hearing loss in patients. Technological innovations and continuous product modifications such as use of advanced light sources (halogen and LED lights) have enhanced the performance of tympanometers. Otoscopes assist in viewing the outer and middle ear functioning. During regular checkups, these devices are used to screen for illnesses. Otoscopes are handheld devices, containing a light source and a low power magnifying lens. These devices are available in two forms: wall-mounted and portable. Wall-mounted otoscopes are attached by a flexible power cord, whereas portable otoscopes are battery operated. Based on distribution channel, the global diagnostic audiological devices market can divided into hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and private clinics.
Geographically, the global diagnostic audiological devices market can be segmented into four major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW). Europe dominates the global market, followed by North America. Several products are introduced first in Europe, as majority of the leading players in the market are domiciled in Western Europe. Technical product developments, increase in incidence of hearing impairment, and shift in consumer preference toward the use of less visible hearing aids drive the audiological devices market in Europe. Moreover, increasing number of people in the region is likely to opt for hearing screening due to rise in awareness about repercussions of hearing loss and waning off of the related social stigma. This is expected to drive demand for diagnostic devices. Growth of the diagnostic audiological devices market in Asia Pacific is attributed to improvement in the distribution network of global players.
Key players operating in the global diagnostic audiological devices market include MedRX, Inc., Oticon Medical, Bernafon AG, Cochlear Limited, and Siemens Healthineers.
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