Jonathan Eykyn, IHS Technology
The world market for power supplies that are used in medical applications continues to grow strongly, thanks to continuing development in emerging regions as healthcare facilities are upgraded and expanded. Demand for medical equipment in Western Europe and North America remains lower, especially for medical imaging products but is projected to pick up in the coming years. Increasing demand for home health care solutions continues to help accelerate growth. Overall, the market for power supplies in medical applications is forecast to grow by $95 million from 2014 to 2018 with unit shipments growing by an average of 7.5% per year.
The market for power supplies used in clinical care devices such as ventilators, neonatal incubators and infusion pumps remains the largest segment of the medical equipment market. Investment remains high in this area, especially from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, as healthcare facilities are upgrade and expanded. A second wave of growth from Latin America and South East Asia is providing further expansion to the market. As a result, power supplies in clinical care devices are projected to account for almost two-thirds of the total medical power supply market in 2014. Owing to continued investment, demand in this sector is projected to remain high with market revenues calculated to grow by an average of more than 4% per year from 2014 to 2018.
The market for medical imaging devices (ultrasound, X-ray, CT and MRI scanners) is a relatively smaller portion of the total medical power supply market in terms of unit shipments. This is due to the high cost of the equipment (an MRI scanner can cost upwards of $1 million) and the smaller addressable market. The continuing pressure on healthcare budgets, especially in the developed markets in Western Europe and North America as spending gets cut or frozen. There is a trend towards healthcare providers extending the replacement cycles of medical imaging devices to increase cost saving. Demand for medical imaging devices from developing regions is increasing but remains low in relation to other medical equipment markets.
The positive of this is that due to the high price of the equipment and the complex power demands, there is less price pressure for the power supply solutions than in many other markets with high average selling prices. As a result of this, the medical imaging sector is projected to account for a third of the medical power supply market revenues in 2014. The market is projected to grow by just over 3% per year on average from 2014 to 2018, again driven predominately by the BRIC regions as spending in developed regions remains low.
Finally, there is an increasing trend towards home healthcare, especially in developed regions as an attempt to reduce pressure on healthcare facilities. Whilst projected growth for medical equipment is high, many of these devices are battery powered, often with disposable batteries, reducing the power supply opportunity. Nevertheless, there is a small but growing market for power supplies for consumer medical devices, typically for low power, power adapter solutions.