According to MarketResearch.com, the availability of advanced anesthetic equipment will generate growth in the global market through 2014, at a predicted rate of 7.2 percent per year. Other trends cited in the study include consolidation via mergers and acquisitions and a price battle among vendors that could pose a challenge to growth.

Key vendors dominating this market include GE Healthcare, Draegerwerk AG & Co. KGaA, and Philips Healthcare.

Anesthesia equipment has evolved over the years from basic pneumatic devices to highly sophisticated computer systems. Both technological advancements and the number of surgical procedures requiring anesthesia increases have created demand in the anesthesia equipment market, according to health care market researcher TechNavio. The U.S. is the biggest market for anesthesia and respiratory devices, accounting for more than 50 percent of the global market.

But growth rates are slowing down in the European anesthesia equipment market. Limited hospital spending and lengthy equipment replacement spans are to blame, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. Growing demand for safe, advanced and patient-friendly anesthesia consumables helps offset those hindrances. The research covers equipment (anesthesia machines and monitors) and consumables (laryngeal mask airway (LMA), endotracheal tube (ETT), anesthesia mask and breathing circuit devices).

“The demand for anesthesia equipment and peripherals is rising as a result of the spiraling number of surgical procedures being performed,” notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Akanksha Joshi. “The focus is now on innovative, technologically advanced products that are patientfriendly and that promote greater safety and ease-of-operation.”
In the saturated anesthesia equipment segment, the focus is on developing high-quality, cost-effective products. In the consumables segment, the trend is currently favoring disposable over reusable equivalents. There has been strong demand for reliable and easy-to-use products that can flexibly adjust to any upgrades.

Revenues in the anesthesia equipment segment are dependent mainly on replacement purchases. Limited health care budgets have meant that purchasing departments tend to buy only the most urgently required equipment each year.

A potential strategy to maintaining revenues would be for manufacturers to offer bundled solutions, wherein advanced versions of anesthesia machines and monitors would be sold as a package, along with other equipment. Anesthesia consumables could be included in such packages.

“The development of innovative, accurate and reliable patient-friendly devices would motivate hospitals to replace their existing equipment,” advises Joshi. “Technological innovation in the anesthesia consumables segment would further stimulate interest in the purchase of advanced technologies that support enhanced clinical outcomes.”

According to GBI Research, the driving force in the global anesthesia and respiratory devices market, which GBI expects to exceed $14 billion by 2017, is the significant patient population suffering from respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the availability of medical devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and COPD. Globally, about 300 million people suffer from OSA, the prevalence of which increases with age, reaching 30 percent to 80 percent in the elderly population. As many as 600 million people suffer from COPD globally, 12 million of whom are in the U.S.