1.1 Definition and general presentation of the market
A hearing aid is a medical device aimed at correcting a hearing defect. The hearing aid market can be divided into two broader categories:
- STANDARDs to which the Behind-the-ear (BTE) and Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) belong.
- CUSTOM or in-the-ear to which ITE, CIC, and IIC models belong.
The first modern hearing aid appeared in the beginning of the 20th century produced by Sonotone in 1929. Over the course of the last century, hearing aids have become portable and discreet, with the use of ever smaller and more efficient microprocessors since the late 1990s.
In the United States, professionals in this field are called audiologists and hearing aid specialists (hearing aid specialists).
The hearing aid market is expected to benefit by a number of demographic and social transformation affecting the global society. Specifically, within the US context, a progressive aging population, an increasing preventive medicine awareness, and technological innovations are projected to impact the hearing aid market.
1.2 The Global Market’s Rapid Growth
The global hearing aid market was valued at $*.** billion in **** and is anticipated to grow to $**.** billion by the end of ****. This is equivalent to a CAGR of *.*%. Key drivers for this increase in demand include an ageing population; indeed, older people pertain to the demography that is most likely ...
1.3 The United States’ Growth Will Continue
According to FBI the market size for hearing aids in the US amounted to $*.** billion in ****. Moreover, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of *% until ****, valuing it at $*.* billion. [***] Relatively to the world, this market value in **** of $*.* billion is equivalent to **.*% (***).
Moreover, there is a large ...
1.4 International Trade
UN Comtrade provides information on the exchange of goods or services among countries, in terms of value and volume. The following data is based on the code ****** labelled “hearing aids excluding parts and accessories”.
The coverage rate is calculated by dividing exports by imports. From this, we can conclude that ...
2.1 Profile Analysis: The American Consumer
This section’s goal is to highlight and analyze consumer behavior patterns in the United States. Moreover, it breaks down demographics and which hearing aid products American consumers seek. Finally, it looks at trends which have, and will, shape the US market for hearing aids.
Receiver in the canal (***) dominates
2.2 Demand Trends
In the United States, around ** million people suffer from some sort of hearing loss. Naturally, older adults make up the largest segment of these people. Around one third of people aged between ** and ** report problems with their hearing. When considering people at the age of **, this number increases to ...
3.1 Market Structure - Manufacturers
The market for hearing aids in the US is similar to an oligopoly; in **** around **% of the market was captured by six players, a figure which hasn’t changed much until today [***]. The “Big Six“ include Phonak, Sonova, Oticon, ReSound, Signia, and Widex. In other words, entry barriers are high, and ...
3.2 Market Structure - Distribution
In general, two categories of professionals can distribute hearing aids: audiologists and hearing aid dispensers. The former requires four year of graduate school, and the latter requires high school graduation and a six-month training program. Consumers buy hearing aid from hospitals or retail clinics in department stores, which range from small ...
4.1 Types of hearing aid
Components which are common to all hearing aid devices include: a microphone (***).
As mentioned, one can decompose hearing aids into two macro categories – Customs and Standards. An additional distinction can be made based on the position of the aid. The picture below shows three different typologies:
In the same order as ...
4.2 What hearing aid attributes are in demand?
The above graph shows what attributes are sought after when audiologist select hearing aid for patients. Respondents were asked to give a score between zero to ten, where ten signifies the highest perceived priority, and one is the lowest importance. From this graph, it is evident that the respondents value ...
4.3 Product Comparison
Below follows a comparison of which brand performs the best in several categories, based on answers from a sample of audiologists. The criterions chosen are based on the three most prioritized attributes (***) from the previous graph. A remark regarding this comparison is that, although the brands included in the analysis below ...
4.4 Price Comparison
4.5 Supply Trends
Bluetooth on the rise
Technological evolution in the past three years include the increasing popularity of Bluetooth technology and advanced digital platforms for better performing hearing aids. [***]
*D printing is used in hearing aids to create increasingly customized models. For instance, this technology can be used to adapt the ...
5.1 Current Regulation
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (***), any potential hearing aid user must provide the distributor with the following information a written statement by a medical officer that the patient has been medically examined and is a candidate for a hearing aid. This examination must take place within * months that ...
5.2 Future Regulation
The WHO restates the fact that hearing aids can only be distributed by licensed professionals. However, technological advances have facilitated hearing aid which can be self-fitted. For example, with older analogue hearing aids, calibrating and properly fitting a hearing aid could involve crafting a custom ear-mold to minimize audio feedback and ...
6.1 Segmentation des acteurs
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