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Cochlear Implant Market
Cochlear implant is a device that improves the localization of sound or speech, even in a noisy background for patients with hearing loss due to damaged cochlea. Cochlea, which is present inside the ear and resembles the shell of a snail, is a delicate structure surrounded by tiny hair-like projections, which bend due to sound vibrations and let people hear. When the cochlea is damaged due to extended noise or acoustic tumors, it results in the loss of hearing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018, 5.0% of the world’s population was diagnosed with disabling hearing loss and the majority of the cases were due to cochlea damage. The increase in disabling hearing loss cases, technological advancements, and increasing uptake of the device are some of the driving factors for the market growth of cochlear implants.
On the basis of product, the cochlear implant market is bifurcated into totally implantable cochlear implant and semi-implantable cochlear implant. Of these, the totally implantable cochlear implant bifurcation is expected to grow at the higher rate during the forecast period (2020–2030), mainly because no external hardware is used that may be damaged over time, and hearing is possible 24x7, i.e. during sleep and while swimming and showering.
Based on the type of setting, the cochlear implant market can be further divided into unilateral or bilateral cochlear implant. Of these, bilateral cochlear implant is expected to hold the larger share in the coming years, mainly because they provide hearing in 360 degrees as well as lead to better understanding of speech in noisy environments, by resulting in a better localization of sounds.
On the basis of component, the cochlear implant market is bifurcated into internal components and external components. The internal component is the receiver stimulator, which receives and decodes the data and sends a decoding signal to the electrodes. The external components consist of a microphone, speech processor, and magnetic piece. The microphone gathers the sound; the speech processor analyzes it; and the magnetic piece transmits the coded signals to the internal components. Of these, the external component bifurcation is expected to hold the larger market share in the coming years, mainly because they are cost-effective.
Children and adults, who are deaf or hard of hearing, are the end users in the cochlear implant market. Of these, adults, primarily in the age group 60–69, are expected to hold the largest market share. The increase in disabling hearing loss cases, due to a rise in noise pollution and powerful antibiotics consumed by adults, is the primary factor driving the market growth in this category.
Globally, North America holds the largest share in the cochlear implant market, mainly due to the initiatives taken by the government to raise awareness among people and a surge in the number of patients with hearing disability. The Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening and Intervention Act (NIHSI) 1999 by the U.S. government has made it mandatory to perform a screening test for newborns, and other favorable government policies, which create awareness among the citizens, have also been implemented. Furthermore, according to the Cochlear Implant International of 2012, 20% of the U.S. population was diagnosed with disabling hearing loss; of this 20%, 40% children and 60% adults had undergone cochlear implantation.
During the forecast period, the cochlear implant market in Asia-Pacific (APAC) would be the fastest growing due to the low labor cost, wide availability of skilled manufacturing professionals, and business-friendly environment.
Cochlear Implant Market Dynamics
Various government policies, advancements in audio technology, especially that of the devices regarding hearing aid, and the follow-up studies of the patients, who have already received the implants, are the key factors which strengthen the cochlear implant market, as these can be implanted in people of all age groups. According to the statistical data published by the WHO in March 2019, 60.0% of the childhood hearing loss cases, in 2018, were caused due to preventable diseases. Moreover, approximately 466 million people, worldwide, had hearing disability, and this number is expected to reach up to 900 million by 2050. Further, according to the Auditory Implant Service (USAIS), under the University of Southampton, of 2018 cochlear implant implantation were conducted in patients aged 0–29 (n=506) and those aged 50–89 (n=556).
The companies in North America and APAC cochlear implant market are advancing their audio implant technology, encouraged by the wide availability of skilled professionals and rising awareness among the population. Some of the companies offering their products in the above-mentioned regions include MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geräte Gesellschaft m.b.H, Cochlear Ltd., Nihon Kohden Corporation, and Nurotron Biotechnology Co. Ltd.
Post-operative complexities, such as auditory nerve damage, dizziness, balance problems, injury to the facial nerve, perilymph fluid leakage, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, infection, blood clots, and meningitis, may come as a challenge to the cochlear implant market players. The shortage of audiologists, high cost of implantation, and short life of the cochlear implants are some of the other challenges faced by patients, which might discourage the adoption of cochlear implants.
Cochlear Implant Market Competitive Landscape
The players operating in the cochlear implant market are actively engaged in strategic developments, such as product approval pursuance, product launches, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions, to gain a significant position in the market.
For instance, Cochlear Ltd. announced the 100% acquisition of Sycle LLC, a provider of audiology practice management service, in May 2017. Through this acquisition, Cochlear Ltd. expected to achieve further market penetration and raise awareness about its branded products in audiology practices.
Moreover, in 2019, Advanced Bionics LLC, in partnership with Phonak (both companies now acquired by Sonova Holding AG) introduced a new wireless-connectivity cochlear implants, named Naida CI connect, which is compatible with Naida CI Q90, a sound processor, allowing the user to connect to various consumer electronics device with the Bluetooth technology. With this product, the company aims to support advanced bionic implant wearers and widen its customer reach. The combination of the two products.
Some key players operating in the cochlear implant market include Cochlear Ltd., Sonova Holding AG, MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geräte Gesellschaft m.b.H., Oticon Medical A/S, Nuroton Biotechnology Co. Ltd., and Microson SA.