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The global air ambulance services market size was valued at USD 4.89 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 5.79 billion in 2022 to USD 10.30 billion in 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.56% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with air ambulance services experiencing a moderate demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -8.44% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Air ambulances are aircraft designed to provide air medical services in emergencies where land-based medical assistance would take too long to arrive. Air ambulances are airplanes and helicopters fitted with complete medical amenities designed to give medical aid in remote areas where road-based ambulance services are not readily available. The rising number of accidents and other life-threatening situations, such as major strokes, heart attacks, trauma, and other medical conditions, increases the demand for effective ambulance services, which finally leads to the expansion of air ambulance services around the world.
Air Ambulance Services Witnessed a Speedy Recovery from COVID-19 Impact by Mid 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the scenario of various industries such as the aviation industry, healthcare industry, chemical industry, ICT industry, and automotive industry, among others. Most of the markets that come under the previously mentioned industries have witnessed the negative impact of COVID-19 on their businesses in 2019.
Post-July 2020, air ambulance service operators are experiencing an increase in services for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) from hospitals, health insurance and assistance companies, and independent end users.
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Implementation of Real-time Data Tracking Software and Autonomous Technology will Boost the Emergency Medical Services Market Growth
The surge in demand for precise real-time data and safety measures has propelled the growth of air ambulance software providers, specifically meteorological software providers. Increasing accidents and safety norms described by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are also the major reasons for implementing real-time data management software. Real-time data tracking assists the pilot in intake required decisions during flight. Moreover, the information related to helicopter systems and software is provided by the flight management software installed in the air ambulance.
The use of AI and the internet of things (IoT) in air ambulance has streamlined the overall operational activities of the pilot. Airbus SAS and Honeywell Corporation Inc. are actively involved in the design and development of lightweight and highly autonomous helicopters for air ambulances in the coming years.
Growing Cases of Chronic Diseases Expected to Increase the Demand for Air Medical Services
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular, and others have been significantly rising across the globe in the last couple of years. The demand for air medical services is surging owing to the rising pervasiveness of chronic diseases. As stated by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), over 550,000 patients in the U.S. use air medical services per year.
According to a report by World Health Organization (WHO), around 0.8 million Americans and million people in Europe annually suffer from stroke.
The global pandemic is another factor that drove the air ambulance services market growth. Global pandemics such as SARS, Ebola, MERS, H1N1, and the recent COVID-19 epidemic have demonstrated the speed with which illnesses travel over the world in recent years. Pandemic circumstances necessitate quick responses from medical personnel, necessitating the use of air ambulance services.
Rapid Technological Advancements in Air Ambulance Services to Boost the Market Growth
Heart monitors, ventilators, and defibrillators are among the contemporary and innovative medical devices and accessories that air ambulances are equipped with to give immediate emergency medical care to patients. Improvements in air ambulance communication technologies allow real-time data on patients' health to be sent to hospital experts, allowing doctors to plan ahead of time for an emergency. The developments in the medical equipment and aircraft provide proper medical treatment to the patient in minimal time.
Kyathi and the International Critical Air Transfer Team will jointly establish India's first-ever integrated air ambulance in September 2020. (ICATT). An isolation pod has been installed on the fixed-wing aircraft ambulance to ensure the safe transport of COVID-19-affected patients.
EHang, a renowned producer of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (AAVs), successfully transported personnel and medical supplies in its two-seat passenger drone in May 2020. Now, the EHang and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are focused on developing ambulance drones named "Ambular" to efficiently tackle healthcare emergencies.
High Cost of Air Medical Services for Critical Missions Hamper the Market Growth
The cost of an air ambulance is much more than a ground ambulance. Although air ambulance services are covered by government and private health insurance in the U.S., reimbursement rates are low compared to the invoicing of air medical service providers. Medicare and Medicaid reimburse around 60% and 34% of the average cost of air medical transport, respectively, leaving patients with a significant out-of-pocket expense in many circumstances. The high cost of air medical services, along with payment issues, provides a barrier to the market's global expansion.
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Rising Outsourcing of Air Ambulance Services Leads to Dominate the Independent Segment During the Forecast Period
By service operator, the market is segmented into hospital-based, independent, and government.
The independent segment is anticipated to dominate the market during 2022-2029. Major private players partner with community health organizations or government organizations to strengthen their position and brand portfolio, which is expected to drive market growth.
The hospital-based segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The segment's growth is attributed to the improving business model of hospitals. Nowadays, major hospitals in developed economies provide their air medical services rather than outsourcing.
The government segment is expected to grow significantly due to government spending on military healthcare systems. Moreover, increasing demand for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to support medical evacuation on the battlefield is anticipated to fuel the market growth.
Inter-facility Segment Held Highest Share Owing to Immediate Medical Response
Based on application, the market is divided into inter-facility, rescue helicopter service, organ transplant logistics, overweight patient transport, infectious disease service, neonatal and pediatric transport, and others.
The inter-facility segment had the highest share in 2021 and is expected to dominate the market in the coming years. This growth is due to the increase in the number of cardiovascular disease and cardiac patients requiring an immediate medical response.
Similarly, the rescue helicopter service model is projected to dominate the market due to the increase in demand for rescue helicopters for transporting patients from remote locations due to emergency medical situations. Moreover, demand for rescue helicopters has been rapidly increased since the coronavirus outbreak due to the lockdown of countries and their transport systems.
The organ transplant logistics segment is projected to show a significant increase in CAGR during the forecast period. This is due to the rise in organ donation, which is expected to increase the rate of organ transplants.
Rotary-wing to be the Fastest Growing Segment Owing to Increase in Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) due to COVID-19
Based on aircraft type, the market is segmented into fixed-wing and rotary-wing.
The rotary-wing segment is anticipated to show the highest market share during 2022-2029. The growth of the segment is attributed to the surge in demand for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fixed-wing segment is projected to show constructive growth during 2022-2029. The growth of the segment is accredited to the wide range of services provided by fixed-wing aircraft such as medical escort service, aero-medical transportation, repatriation, and critical care patient transportation.
North America Air Ambulance Services Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America dominated the market in 2021 and was valued at USD 2.33 billion. The growth is due to the presence of air medical service providers' availability of advanced medical facilities, the presence of a large number of helicopter fleets in the U.S. and the highest number of helicopter operators across North America. Moreover, the presence of major players such as Air Methods, PHI Air Medical, Acadian Companies, and others boosts the market in the region.
Asia Pacific is projected to show remarkable growth during 2022-2029. Improvement in the economy of emerging countries such as China and India, along with increasing investment in healthcare by governments, is anticipated to fuel the market growth. The growth is also attributed to the growing aviation industry in Asia Pacific. Furthermore, the increased number of helicopter operators and rising demand for helicopters for a variety of applications in medical services boost the market growth in the region.
Europe will showcase significant growth from 2022 to 2029. This is due to an increase in advanced technology-based aircraft and leasing facilities. Increasing investments by the key players to develop and adopt advanced technologies that will improve the air ambulance services operations is driving the growth of the market in the region.
The rest of the world will showcase moderate growth from 2022 to 2029. The arrival of modern medical facilities and improving financial condition of the region, growing population, and increase in economic growth are expected to support the growth of the market over the forecast period.
Major Players Focus on Developing Advanced Medical Service Aircraft.
Key players such as Air Methods Corporation are focused on strategic mergers to endure market position as market competition has raised the standards for new entrants, challenging major players based on advancement in service, quality, and price.
Furthermore, high investments by air ambulance manufacturers for high-end technology will help sustain the market position.
An Infographic Representation of Air Ambulance Services Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of this market and focuses on key aspects such as top companies and leading applications. Moreover, the report includes market trends, market segmentation, global market size, business strategy, growth opportunities, and regional development status. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the global air ambulance services market report encompasses several direct and indirect factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Service Operator, Application, Aircraft Type, and Geography
By Service Operator
By Aircraft Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market was USD 4.89 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 10.30 billion by 2029.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.56% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The rotary-wing segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance is the leading player in the global market.
North America held the highest market share in 2021.
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