Oxygen concentrators are stationary or portable devices that supply oxygen to patients in high concentrations. They are particularly useful in treating respiratory ailments like bronchitis, emphysema, sarcoidosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Oxygen concentrators generate oxygen by concentrating the oxygen present in the air and removing other gases. Supplemental oxygen enables bodies of respiratory patients to carry out necessary functions. Portable oxygen concentrators offer freedom to users to continue their normal life. Convenient, affordable and light, portable devices have altered industry dynamics and accelerated market growth. Innovative products characterized by long battery life and superior delivery of oxygen are favorable for the medical oxygen concentrators industry. Aging population and rising respiratory illnesses are also expected to increase demand.
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Product & Technology Insights
Oxygen concentrators are divided into two types – portable and non-portable. Non-portable concentrators are cheaper but more cumbersome and difficult to move than portable concentrators. Due to their several benefits, portable devices contributed to more than half of the total revenues in 2014. The demand for portable concentrators is expected to be further augmented by high prevalence of respiratory problems as a result of growing consumption of cigarettes, cigars, etc., increasingly by youngsters, in future.
Portable concentrators include two types of technologies – continuous flow and pulse dose. Pulse dose oxygen concentrators release oxygen only when the patient takes a breath, while continuous flow oxygen concentrators supply oxygen continuously once the device is turned on. While pulse dose devices are lighter and more compact, they cannot cater to patients who require a heavier concentration on a continuous basis. Therefore, continuous flow concentrators secured a dominant market share in 2014. However, pulse dose devices did achieve high market penetration in the same period.
Demand for medical oxygen concentrators comes from homecare and non-homecare segments. Non-homecare segment primarily comprises of hospitals and healthcare centers which are characterized by high demand due to heavy patient volume. Yet, the homecare segment accounted for more than half of the total market share in 2014. Rising air pollution levels in major cities all over the world pose a significant risk to public health. Harmful substances like nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide act as trigger for asthma episodes and COPD exacerbations, adversely affecting breathing. Oxygen concentrators provide relief for sufferers traveling in high-pollution areas. This, coupled with the development of technologically superior devices will lead to future market growth.
The Asia Pacific region, including nations like India, China, Australia and Japan, is foreseen to be the most promising market for medical oxygen concentrators due to factors like economic growth, developing healthcare infrastructure, burgeoning population, decreased air quality, and growing awareness levels. Latin American countries of Brazil and Mexico too, are expected to be lucrative regional markets. The main demand for medical oxygen concentrators in 2014 came from North America followed by Europe. This was due to well-developed home healthcare systems, higher disposable incomes, growing incidences of asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Additionally, agencies like European COPD coalition, European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations, American Lung Association, and American COPD Foundation, among others are working towards raising awareness levels and funds, thereby contributing to market growth.
Chief market operators include Inogen Inc., AirSep Corporation, Invacare Corporation, Inova Labs Inc., O2 Concepts, Teleflex Incorporated, Teijin Ltd., Nidek Medical, DeVilbiss Healthcare, Covidien Ltd., among others. Players are engaged in consolidation through mergers and acquisitions with the aim to increase regional penetration and offer an extensive product range. Existing players and new market entrants are taking efforts to meet consumer demand for more superior, compact and lighter devices leading to introduction of quality products at low prices.
Information Source: Grand View Research