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Healthcare/Medical Simulation Market Overview
The healthcare/medical simulation market is projected to grow considerably in the coming years, due to the increasing popularity of minimally invasive surgeries, advancements in technology, rising focus on better patient outcomes and safety, and heavy investments in the field.
Simulation software, web-based simulation, simulation training services, and mannequin-based simulation are the various product and service offerings in the industry. Among these, web-based simulation is predicted to witness robust growth in the coming years, as a result of the swift penetration of the internet in the medical field, development of healthcare information technology (IT) solutions, as well as a lack of skilled professionals. Virtual tutors and recording software are the two major software types, while the services available in the healthcare/medical simulation market include vendor-based training, custom consulting, and educational societies.
Web-based simulation is available in the form of second life and serious games, whereas eye simulators, endovascular simulators, ultrasound simulators, patient simulators, dental simulators, surgical simulators, and task trainers are the various mannequin-based simulator products. Among the various mannequin-based simulators, patient simulators currently occupy the largest healthcare/medical simulation market share, and they are also predicted to observe the most rapid growth in the coming years. This would be due to their increasing usage, as they help seasoned practitioners as well as novices understand key anatomical medical concepts better, which results in improved efficiency and patient safety during real-life procedures.
The key end users in the industry are military organizations, hospitals, and academic institutes and training centers. Among these, hospitals boast the largest healthcare/medical simulation market size, due to the wide adoption of such solutions at large-scale hospitals, which have higher budget for their procurement. Additionally, the need to reduce medical errors and provide doctors with cost-effective training in the long term will further drive the use of such solutions in hospitals, in the coming years.
North America currently leads the healthcare/medical simulation market, and the situation would be the same in the coming years. The strong focus on patient safety, established distribution channels, technological advancements, increase in the demand for minimally invasive surgeries, high number of academic institutions and hospitals and expenditure on healthcare, and growth in the pool of students preferring realistic medical training are the major reasons behind this. In the coming years, the adoption of such solutions would rise the fastest in Asia-Pacific (APAC), as a result of the increasing demand for minimally invasive surgeries and bettering healthcare infrastructure. Further, technological advancements and an increasing number of students demanding on-hands training in medical procedures would also lead to the industry progress in the region.
Within North America, the U.S. shows significant growth prospects, as a large number of training centers exist in the country, and such solutions would be adopted heavily by the military. Similarly, India is expected to witness significant healthcare/medical simulation market growth, in APAC. A key reason behind this is the advancements in its healthcare infrastructure, which are leading to the introduction of better training methods and technologies. Further, public and private firms are frequently organizing conferences and workshops, thereby leading to a surging awareness on the benefits of medical simulators and the various products available.
Healthcare/Medical Simulation Market Dynamics
A key healthcare/medical simulation market trend is the usage of such solutions to reduce errors during procedures. As per a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, medical errors lead to 250,000 deaths in the U.S., every year; several other reports claim the number to be over 440,000. This has led to a strict regulatory framework in many countries, which seeks to enhance patient care and limit the number of deaths due to procedural errors. Medical simulation offers realistic scenarios for practitioners to sharpen their skills, so that their efficiency in actual instances becomes higher.
The growth of the healthcare/medical simulation market is being driven by the rise in the demand for minimally invasive surgeries. As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15.7 million cosmetic surgeries were performed in the U.S., in 2017, via the minimally invasive approach. Such procedures involve working inside the body, the interior organs being accessed by only a small slit, rather than a full incision. In such cases, surgeons need to know exactly where to operate, in order to minimize the chances of a mishap. Simulators help visualize the interior anatomy before the surgery, so doctors can prepare themselves better for the actual procedure.
Healthcare/Medical Simulation Market Competitive Landscape
In recent times, product launches, collaborations and partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and geographical expansion have been the common strategies adopted by the key healthcare/medical simulation market players to augment their revenue. For instance, in 2018, Simbionix USA Corporation introduced a portable simulator for arthroscopy, to widen its offerings. Similarly, in January 2017, CAE Inc. launched the VimedixAR, which works with Microsoft HoloLens, to offer a mixed-reality solution for ultrasound simulation.
Other than CAE, the other important players in the healthcare/medical simulation market are Laerdal Medical AS, Kyoto Kagaku Co. Ltd., Gaumard Scientific Company Inc., 3D Systems Inc., Limbs & Things Ltd., Surgical Science Sweden AB, Simulab Corporation, and Mentice AB.