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Rising numbers of preterm births stoke demand for infant care solutions in Europe

Posted: 23 April 2015 |

The saturated European market for infant care solutions has received fresh impetus from the rising incidence of preterm births, reports Frost & Sullivan…

The saturated European market for infant care solutions has received fresh impetus from the rising incidence of preterm births.

infant-care

This trend is not only fuelling the demand for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) devices but also skilled and trained professionals to operate these devices.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Western European Infant Care Solutions Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $151.5 million in 2014 and estimates this to reach $177.5 million in 2018.

Research indicates that birth before 37 weeks is the leading cause of infant mortality across the globe, accounting for an estimated 1.1 million deaths per year. The largest rise in preterm birth rates in Europe per year since 1990 was registered in Belgium (2.5 percent), Spain (2.2 percent), France (1.6 percent) and the UK (1.5 percent).

Merged hospitals have to share designated NICUs and delivery beds

“While governments across Western Europe are reacting to these escalating numbers through initiatives to deliver better facilities, the cost cuts rolled out by governments to make solutions affordable have narrowed manufacturers’ margins,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Research Analyst Akanksha Joshi. “Additionally, the ongoing consolidation of hospitals in Europe due to budgetary constraints has compelled the merged hospitals to share designated NICUs and delivery beds.”

Various non-profit organisations along with the governments are attempting to offset the effect of consolidation by funding the hospitals to increase the number of cots and staff in the NICUs. On the technology front, vendors are likely to introduce patient-friendly, innovative devices of high quality that are also cost-effective. These adaptable technologies will reduce the time of treatment, thus reducing patients’ stay in hospitals and ultimately, cost of care.

Devices that are adaptable and flexible will grain traction in the market for infant care solutions

Leading market participants often bundle products and offer heavy discounts. There is a substantial market for combined devices, especially for infant incubators with radiant warmers, phototherapy systems with radiant warmers, and transport incubators with the capabilities of a mobile NICU.

“Hospitals are demanding technologically improved and sophisticated devices, which include hybrid warming devices that can be configured as open or closed incubators, and double-walled incubators,” noted Joshi. “Overall, devices that are adaptable and flexible will gain traction in the Western European market for infant care solutions.”

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