The speech generating devices market has been forecast to reach a value of US$505 million by the year 2018, with the sector being predominantly driven by the rising prevalence of speech-based disorders.
Furthermore, the growing media coverage, greater availability of information on the Internet, and R&D activity focusing on developing technologically superior devices represent additional factors expected to significantly impact the growth prospects of the speech generating devices market in the future.
Speech generating devices are electronic augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems used to supplement or replace speech or writing for individuals with severe speech impairments, enabling them to verbally communicate their needs.
Over the years, technological advancements have enabled speech generating devices to emerge as a refined tool, capable of addressing numerous requirements of the speech impaired populace. Presently, a wide range of devices are available for patients based on the various levels of cognitive and physical abilities and include text-based communication devices, symbol systems, tongue switches, and eye tracking systems.
The first known speech generating device was prototyped in the mid 1970s, and rapid progress in hardware and software development has meant that speech generating device capabilities can now be integrated into devices like smartphones. Notable users of speech generating devices include Stephen Hawking, Roger Ebert, and Tony Proudfoot.
The United States represents the largest and the fastest growing market for speech generating devices. The region is forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16% through to 2018. In the US, institutions or individuals purchasing speech generating devices are usually reimbursed by third party sources, such as managed care plans, foreign and local Government initiatives that include Medicaid and Medicare, as well as the private insurance plans.
For more information on the speech generating devices market, see the latest research: Speech Generating Devices
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