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The global hearing aids market size was USD 6.47 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with hearing aids witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of 28.1% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth rate during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 6.67 billion in 2021 to USD 11.02 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 7.4% in the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to the market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
A hearing aid is an electronic device designed to enrich hearing in patients suffering from hearing loss or auditory nerve damage. The increasing prevalence of hearing loss is expected to boost the adoption of hearing devices. According to the WHO, about 466 million people worldwide lived with disabling hearing loss in 2018, and the number is expected to reach over 700 million in 2050.
Furthermore, technological advancements in these devices, such as wirelessly connecting devices with smartphones, are expected to impact the market positively. Besides, the demand for cochlear implants is gradually increasing, especially among children. Many healthcare providers are supporting the early implantation of cochlear implants as they can restore hearing defects. This, in turn, is set to favor growth.
COVID-19 Pandemic: Postponement of Cochlear Implantations Procedures to Decline Growth
COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the healthcare sector. Hospitals worldwide are getting filled with patients demanding urgent care, owing to which many hospitals are running out of resources. Millions of elective surgeries are being postponed or canceled to reallocate the resources to manage COVID-19 patients. This has also negatively affected the medical device sector. The demand for devices such as orthopedic implants, heart valves, intraocular lenses, and audiology diagnostics devices showcases the downward curve.
This is also the case with the hearing devices market. Major players operating in the market have reported a decline in the sales of hearing aid devices. Also, the postponement of cochlear implantations procedures has resulted in their decreasing sales. According to the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) statistics, the U.S.'s unit sales of hearing devices declined by 18.0% in 2020. Below are some of the essential findings:
However, there are reports of sudden hearing loss post-COVID-19. These patients are expected to seek treatment for hearing loss and may turn up the demand for these aid devices. According to the World Health Organization, in May 2021, there are over 162 million survivors of COVID-19. Hearing loss affects 5% of those survivors. This results in more than 8 million people needing treatment for hearing loss. Such events may drive the growth in demand for these aids.
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Rising Adoption of Tele-audiology Worldwide is a Prominent Trend
The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the adoption of telehealth among audiologists. To avoid patient traffic, many healthcare professionals are switching to tele-audiology.
Due to this, manufacturers are also developing various platforms to support patients and healthcare professionals. For instance, in April 2020, Sonova adopted a telehealth technology consisting of a suite of Phonak eSolutions, featuring online hearing testing, as well as real-time remote hearing aid fitting, programming, and fine-tuning.
Increasing Prevalence of Hearing Loss to Boost Product Demand
Hearing loss has become the most common disorder in patients, especially in industrialized countries. According to the WHO, the number of people living with disabling hearing loss is anticipated to reach over 900 million by 2050. Besides, chronic inflammation, vascular disorder, noise exposure, genetic susceptibility, and physiological aging of the ear may also cause hearing loss among people. This may lead to an increasing number of hearing impairment patient populations globally, thereby increasing sales of these devices.
According to the Hearing Industries Association, over 4.22 million hearing aids were dispensed in the U.S. in 2019, an increase of 6.5% compared to the previous year. Due to the increasing number of hearing device users, the market is anticipated to witness significant growth.
Incorporation of Digital or Smart Technologies to Drive Growth
In the past decade, there has been a tremendous advancement in the field of hearing aids. The incorporation of smart technologies and the emergence of digital platforms in the mini device have helped overcome multiple patients' difficulties and have improved their hearing experience. Digital hearing aids are being introduced to the market. Features such as smartphone compatibility, bluetooth connectivity, high sound processing, artificial intelligence (AI), rechargeable batteries, and the latest tinnitus masking have leveraged the hearing device's potential to no bounds.
Moreover, enhanced aesthetic appeal with the use of a miniaturized device is projected to favor the growth of the market.
Ignorance by Patients to Undergo Hearing Test May Impede Growth
Many people find it difficult to accept that they have a hearing impairment and never undergo a test. Also, due to the social stigma associated with these products, many people hesitate to use them. According to the State of Hearing Report 2019, a global survey conducted by Cochlear Ltd. showed that around 92% of respondents recognize hearing as an important factor for maintaining the overall quality of life. But, only 37% have had a hearing test in the last two years.
According to the FDA, approximately 37.5 million adults aged between 18 years and above report having some trouble hearing without a device, ranging from “a little trouble” to “deaf.” Furthermore, Starkey Research estimated that around 42% of people who reported no hearing trouble turned out to have mild hearing loss. Such considerations would reduce the number of tests conducted in hospitals, thereby narrowing the device's adoption.
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Hearing Devices Segment to Dominate the Market in Upcoming Years
Based on the product type, the market is segmented into hearing devices and hearing implants. The hearing devices segment can be further bifurcated into behind-the-ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE), receiver in the canal (RIC), completely in the canal (CIC), others (invisible in the canal). The hearing devices segment is expected to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. Many BTE devices resemble Bluetooth earphone devices, and thus, patients are more willing to use them. Similarly, the emergence of CIC and invisible-in-the-canal devices such as Oticon Opn possessing improved sound quality would provide more confidence to patients. These factors are expected to propel the growth of the hearing devices segment.
The hearing implants segment can be categorized into cochlear implants and bone-anchored implants. The incorporation of newborn hearing screening tests in routine healthcare and the introduction of new products in the market are the major factors responsible for the considerable growth of the segment.
Adults Segment to Grow Rapidly Fueled by Rising Geriatric Population
Based on patient type, the market can be categorized into adults and pediatrics. The adult’s segment dominated the market in 2020 and is projected to show remarkable growth during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the rising geriatric population and the increasing awareness about various hearing devices & implants available in the market. According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 28.8 million adults in the United States could benefit from these aid ddevices. This is likely to contribute to the expansion of the adult’s segment.
The increasing number of infants born with sensorineural hearing loss and the efficacy of cochlear implants in restoring these hearing defects among pediatrics are anticipated to accelerate the growth of the pediatrics segment. Furthermore, according to the WHO, nearly 34 million children worldwide lived with hearing loss in 2018. The highest prevalence of disabling hearing loss is in South Asia. This is expected to augment the growth of the segment.
Hospital Pharmacies Segment to Hold Maximum Portion of the Market
The market can be segmented into Over-The-Counter (OTC), hospital pharmacies/ medical channels, and retail pharmacies/private practice in terms of distribution channels. The hospital pharmacies segment accounted for the maximum share of the market in 2020. The hospital pharmacies segment accounted for the maximum share of the market in 2020. Favorable health reimbursement for hearing implantation surgeries and the increasing penetration of hearing implants are expected to boost this segment's growth. According to Cochlear Ltd's estimates, around 15 million people can benefit from cochlear or bone conduction implants. This is also expected to expand the medical channel/hospital pharmacies segment.
Key players such as GN Store Nord A/S, Senovo, Demant A/S, and others are increasing their efforts to strengthen their retail channels worldwide. This is anticipated to contribute to the expansion of the private practice/retail pharmacies segment.
Regulatory reforms for increasing the adoption of hearing aids among adults and providing the care they need are expected to propel the OTC segment's growth. For instance, in August 2017, a law was passed as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017. It directed the FDA to create a category of OTC hearing devices for adults who might have mild-to-moderate hearing loss. This will reduce the barrier to purchasing these devices and bode well with the OTC segment's expansion. The FDA is anticipated to frame new regulations for the new category of OTC hearing aids in the coming days. These devices are expected to be offered at a lower cost than other devices. This is expected to increase the adoption of these products, as the high price of current products is one of the main hindrances in adoption.
North America Hearing Aids Market Size, 2020 (USD billion)
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The market size in North America stood at USD 2.48 billion in 2020. The increasing sales volume of hearing devices, coupled with the strong adoption of less noticeable devices for more aesthetic appeal and new product launches, are some of the primary factors attributable to this region's prominent position in the global market.
Europe is anticipated to be the second-largest region in terms of share, which can be attributed to strong government support and increased research for developing advanced hearing devices. Furthermore, several companies' strategic presence, such as GN Store Nord A/S, Senovo, Demant A/S, and WS Audiology in the region, is expected to boost growth. According to Hearing Link, about 12,000 people in the U.K. use cochlear implants. It would also propel hearing aids market growth.
Asia Pacific is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to hearing implants' increasing penetration and the rising aging population. According to Hear-it.org, over 3.6 million Australians suffer from hearing loss, and the figure is projected to reach 7.8 million in 2060, which is poised to surge the country's growth market.
The rest of the world, including GCC countries, Africa, Brazil, and others, holds substantial growth potentials and is anticipated to emerge lucratively. The rising prevalence of hearing impairment and growing awareness are a few factors that are likely to contribute to expanding the global market.
Key Participants Focus on New Product Launches and Innovations to Intensify Competition
In terms of the market revenue, Demant A/S was in the dominant position. The presence of this company in the fields of hearing devices and cochlear implants and its expanded geographical presence are some of the key factors responsible for its dominance. In April 2019, the company signed an agreement with Koninklijke Philips N.V. to market its hearing aids, accessories, and applications under the Philips HearLink brand. Selling its product under Philips helped the company to leverage its revenue.
On the other hand, continuous innovations and new product launches are the primary reasons for the prominent position of Sonova in the market. Increasing research investments to penetrate the market is expected to strengthen the position of other market players such as WS Audiology, Starkey, RION Co. Ltd., and others.
Bose entered this market with its direct-to-customer hearing aid device in May 2021. This is the first direct-to-customer product in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Hearing Aids Market
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The hearing aids market research report offers an elaborative analysis of numerous factors affecting the global market. Information on trends, drivers, growth opportunities, threats, and market restraints can further help stakeholders gain valuable insights into the industry. The report also provides a detailed competitive landscape by presenting information on key players and their strategies in the market.
Value (USD Billion)
Product; Patient Type, Distribution Channel, and Geography
By Patient Type
By Distribution Channel
The value of the global market was USD 6.47 billion in 2020.
Fortune Business Insights says that the market is projected to reach USD 11.02 billion by 2028.
The value of the market in North America was USD 2.48 billion in 2020.
The market is projected to rise at a CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
Hearing devices are the leading segment in this market.
The increasing prevalence of hearing loss and the emergence of digital/smart technologies are the key factors driving the global market.
Demant A/S, Sonova, and WS Audiology are the top players in the global market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share.
The adoption of tele-audiology is the key trend of the market.
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