The global market for Stethoscopes is projected to reach US$425 million by 2022, driven by the indispensability of this iconic diagnostic device to medical practice coupled with technological developments and launch of advanced electronic stethoscopes.
Physical examination, including auscultation, along with initial lab tests and medical history forms the basis of diagnosis that eventually helps physicians arrive at ideal treatment plans. Several instruments, including stethoscopes, hence play a critical role in diagnosis of several health conditions. Stethoscope has an indispensable role in delivery of routine duties of healthcare providers, enabling them to listen to body sounds, such as those of lungs and heart, for disease diagnosis and prognosis. Despite advances in other diagnostic techniques, auscultation through stethoscopes remains the most common technique used by physicians and other healthcare providers in identifying pathologic heart sounds and murmurs as part of adult physical examination. In this backdrop, the market for stethoscopes is expected to witness steady growth through the analysis period driven by the a combination of favorable factors including aging population, growing healthcare needs, increasing access and spending in both developed and developing countries, rising living standards of people, and continued enhancements in stethoscope designs and acoustics.
Manual & Mechanical Stethoscopes continue to dominate the market, driven by their huge popularity among doctors worldwide. However, the difficulty in capturing gentle sounds is limiting their use and with little innovation over the years, there is gradual shift in preference for other technologies. Electronic stethoscopes, in this regard, are gaining popularity worldwide, driven by a slew of technological advancements that improved acoustics and functionality of stethoscopes. Factors such as rising healthcare costs, growing market for telemedicine, and increasing use of smartphone and other connected devices are driving growth for electronic stethoscopes. Development and launch of electronic stethoscopes with Bluetooth™ connectivity, and other benefits such as audio/visual output, noise reduction, signal enhancement and ability to record and store sounds are contributing to their growing popularity. Higher costs remain a major temporary hurdle to the growth of electronics stethoscopes. Other factors challenging their growth include the need for and replacing batteries and relative fragility over manual stethoscopes among others. Fetal heart-rate detectors, which plays a primary role in reducing infant mortality rates, is another major segment that significantly contributes to the market's growth.
The United States represents the largest market worldwide. Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 5.9% over the analysis period led by growing population and healthcare burden; rapidly developing physician practices; growing per capita healthcare spending; strong physician confidence in the tried and tested reliability of stethoscopes; availability of stethoscopes in a wide variety of styles, designs and colors; and launch of specialized stethoscopes for virtually every branch of medicine such as pediatric, cardiology, obstetrics, pulmonary assessment etc.
Major players in the market include 3M, American Diagnostic Corporation, Cardionics, Inc., GF Health Products, Inc., Medline Industries Inc., NISCO (INDIA), Rudolf Riester GmbH & Co. KG, Suzuken Co., Ltd., Welch Allyn, Inc., and Yuwell-Jiangsu Yuyue Medical Equipment & Supply Co., Ltd. among others.