Durable medical equipment (DME) can be defined as devices and products that serve medical purposes and that can tolerate frequent and/or subsequent usage. These equipment are predominately used to assist and improve the quality of life of patients with injuries and disorders. The global durable medical equipment market is driven by technological advances and cost containment efforts. Government subsidy and public private partnerships have increased the number of health care services and settings. This is likely to create openings for market players smoothing demand for DME. Home health care is a budget effective substitute and developing usage of these equipment in home health care settings acts as a key driver of the durable medical equipment market.
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The geriatric population is a crucial target population for DME devices. The geriatric population is vulnerable to chronic diseases that require long term care. Prevalence of chronic disorders is likely to drive the global durable medical equipment market. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer is expected to rise by 75% over the next two decades. Moreover, the number of people suffering from diseases would increase to 23.3 million by 2030. According to the United Nations, the number of people aged 62 years and above is projected to increase from 845 million in 2013 to over 2 billion by 2050.
DME products are distributed largely by national and local providers; other channels, like third party distributors or mail-in orders. The DME market is highly consolidated, and has more than 100k players. However, high cost of equipment, regulatory changes, and limited reimbursement rates for medical equipment restrain the global durable medical equipment market. For example, competitive bidding, an ongoing Medicare initiative to bring DME reimbursement policies in line with other clients, has adversely impacted some of the DME distributors and manufacturers. New innovative product developments through research and development, collaborations, mergers and acquisitions are the key strategies undertaken by small and large players in the DME industry.
The global durable medical equipment market can be segmented based on product type, end-user, and region. In terms of product, the market can be segmented into personal mobility devices, bathroom safety devices & medical furniture, monitoring devices, and others. Personal mobility devices due to growing demand and technological advancements is expected to account for large share of the global DME market.
End-users of DME include hospitals, research centers, nursing homes, ambulatory centers, and home health care. Moreover, the personal/home health care segment can be sub-categorized into chronic and geriatric patients, preventive care/monitoring, and short term and outpatient care. The chronic and geriatric patients sub-segment is likely to account for the largest share of the personal/home medical equipment segment. The hospitals segment is also expected grow rapidly due to greater economies of scale.
Geographically, the global durable medical equipment (DME) market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World (Latin America, Middle East, and Africa). In terms of region, North America is projected to account for the largest share of the DME market, followed by Europe and Asia. North America and Europe are likely to witness high demand for DME driven by technological advancements and improved reimbursement in the regions. Rapidly aging population, growing incidence of associated disease, and increased obesity rates are the other important factors driving the DME market. For example, a United Nations (UN) report projects that the number of people in the world who are obese or overweight has reached 2.1 billion, up from 875 million in 1980. Developing countries in Asia such as China and India will be the focal point for growth of the durable medical equipment market. Chronically ill population, increasing number of private sector hospitals, rising affluence, advancements in technology, and expansion to rural health care facilities are anticipated to boost the market in the region.
Major companies operating in the durable medical equipment market are Invacare Corporation, Sunrise Medical, ArjoHuntleigh, Hill Rom, Inc., Stryker Corporation, Medline Industries, Inc., Drive Medical, GF Health Products, Inc., and Carex Health Brands, Inc., among others.
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