Home medical equipment refers to cost-effective medical devices that help provide safe and effective treatment to patients in the comfort of their home. This significantly reduces stress related to treatment and helps in speedy recovery of patients and improves their quality of life. Home healthcare equipment is also called durable medical equipment (DME), as it is projected to tolerate repeated use by non-professionals or the patient, and is appropriate for use in home settings. It typically includes medical electric equipment such as digital blood pressure monitors, blood glucose meters, pulse oximeters, and peak flow meters. These devices are available in both hospital and home-use models, with changing features and capabilities differentiating the models. The term home healthcare equipment is also applied to products such as breast pumps, nebulizers, and artificial limbs and other prosthetic devices. Personal hygiene products, electric toothbrushes, and denture cleaners may also be covered under this broad segment. Even mechanical assist devices, such as wheelchairs, seat lifts, and walkers can be part of home healthcare equipment. It helps in reducing duration of patients’ stay in hospitals, nursing homes, or clinics.
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Growing geriatric population, rising incidence of chronic diseases, and growing healthcare expenditure are some of the key factors driving growth of the global home medical equipment market. Increasing consumer awareness about the convenience and cost effectiveness of deploying such products, increase in the patient preference for home-based care, rising insured population as a result of the Affordable Care Act, technological advancements such as wearable devices, tele health, mobile health applications, etc. further spur growth of the market.
Home Medical Equipment Market
On the basis of product type, the global market is segmented into:
- Home Tests and Patient Monitoring Equipment
- Home Therapeutic Equipment
- Patient Support Equipment
In home medical equipment market, North America is the largest geographic region, followed by Europe. This is mainly attributed to robust healthcare infrastructure, technological advancement, high disposable income, and good reimbursement policies in the region. In the U.S., provisions of the Obamacare Act that provides health insurance to 30 million uninsured people in the country creates a highly conducive environment for growth of the home medical equipment market. Increasing demographics and rising healthcare spending in emerging economies such as India and China are further expected to favor growth of the market in home medical equipment. The market in the Asia Pacific region is expected to experience high growth rate in the near future due to increasing awareness and shortage of professional medical services providers in the region. Furthermore, technological innovation have led to development of advancement products which would augment growth of the market. In the global home medical equipment industry, an increasing number of mergers and acquisitions and new product launches are the latest trends that have been observed in the recent past.
Changing reimbursement policies, risk to safety, limited insurance coverage, and health of home healthcare worker, and growing patient safety concerns such as home healthcare worker have less control over their work environment that may contain a number of safety and health hazards. These hazards which may include ergonomic hazards, bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards, latex sensitivity, from patient lifting, hostile animals violence, and unhygienic and dangerous conditions. Additionally, if their daily work duties requires them to provide care for multiple patients, they may face hazards on the road as they drive from home to home, these are some of the main factors projected to inhibit growth of this market during the forecast period. The U.S. FDA has regulated medical devices used by consumers at home in the same way it regulates all other medical devices. However, in recognition of the growing number of potential safety issue regarding the use of home healthcare equipment, the FDA announced plans to provide closer oversight of home healthcare equipment in the United States in April 2010.
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Key players operating in the global home medical equipment market are AstraZeneca, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Baxter, GE Healthcare, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Stryker, Sunrise Medical LLC, ResMed, Philips Healthcare., Medline Industry, CareFusion Corporation, and Abbott Laboratories.
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