COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
Medical Thermometers, this indispensable iconic diagnostic device in medical practice has assumed special significance and has emerged into the most often purchased product in COVID-19 times. The global market under this scenario is expected to accelerate and reach US$3.2 billion by the year 2027. The sudden surge in demand is due to the rise of temperature screening and monitoring as a popular, prominent and even mandatory practice in countries worldwide. With fever being a telltale symptom of COVID-19, this pandemic has pushed up the importance and use case scenarios for thermometers. From consumers, hospitals, healthcare response teams, airports, offices, malls, supermarkets, restaurants to cinema halls, have all stepped up the use of thermometers for screening for COVID-19 infections. Infrared thermometers are widely preferred for screening in large public spaces given their non-contact benefit. As community spread begins in most countries worldwide, over the counter (OTC) sales of digital thermometers in the consumer market are rising as well informed and aware citizens resort to self-screening and monitoring. Use of thermometers among public health officials has also skyrocketed with governments imposing mandatory screening, contact tracing and strict quarantine for people with COVID-19 symptoms. Until a vaccine is ready, temperature monitoring will be the new norm and will become as commonplace as security checks after the 9/11 attacks. With the sudden spurt in demand for medical thermometers, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with supply.
Crucial to the market's growth will be continuous technological innovations, developments and launch of advanced electronic variants. The connection between basal body temperature and disease makes clinical thermometry the most important aspect of everyday doctoring. Thermoregulation in humans is vital for healthy organ function and metabolism. Given the fact that raised body temperature as a result of increased antibody production is the first sign that the body is preparing to fight infection, physicians everywhere draw conclusions and make their first hypothesis about the disease based on thermometer readings. As a result, body temperature is one of the vital signs physician watch out for in addition to blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration rate. While new and reemerging infectious diseases is the founding growth driver for the market, other factors also influencing growth include rising consumer awareness over the importance of body temperature monitoring as an effective way to recognize infections prior to clinical diagnosis; higher than global average birth rates in developing countries and the ensuing rise in demand for rectal baby thermometers; growing preference for disposable adult, infant and pediatric thermometers due to concerns over cross infections and hassles associated with regular sterilization; replacement of mercury thermometers with digital thermometers; higher sales of infrared forehead and ear thermometers supported by benefits such as fast, accurate readings and higher hygiene and convenience benefits.
Asia-Pacific including China is a major market led by factors such as developing healthcare infrastructure and the resulting expanding base of hospitals and clinics in countries such as China and India; strong demand for mercury-free thermometers given the safety issues created by a broken mercury thermometer; expanding base of educated and affluent middle class population and the resulting importance of thermometers as an indispensable fixture in household medicine cabinets; spread of highly infectious diseases like Ebola in emerging tropical countries and the ensuing demand for non-contact thermometers.