Rising health care expenditure and increasing demand for novel medical equipment have led to a surge in the medical equipment manufacturing industry. However, product pricing is affected by the demand-supply gap or increased raw material costs. In either case, procuring new equipment is seen as an expensive proposition for several medical institutions, especially those with funding restraints.
Renting/leasing medical equipment has emerged as a boon or an alternative to equipment purchasing to these medical institutions, benefitting the end-users or patients indirectly. Home care products have seen a similar pattern with a majority of products being quite expensive for acute care patients, as the duration of the product requirement is too small to avail any benefits in the long run. The rental market, therefore, has seen a surge in recent times, with preference of the personal/home care patients for smaller devices and of medical institutions for larger equipment. The multi-billion dollar medical equipment rental market is expected to rise by a little less than half by the end of the decade and would remain dynamic for the next few years.
The global medical equipment rental market has been segmented based on device category, end-users and geography. The device category has been further segmented into personal/home care equipment, electronic/digital equipment, surgical equipment, durable medical equipment, and storage and transport.
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The durable medical equipment segment accounted for the largest share of over 40% of the medical equipment rental market in terms of revenue in 2013. The segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020, expanding at a CAGR of over 5%. High cost and increased demand has led to the growth of the durable equipment rental segment. The trend is likely to continue due to the increasing geriatric population across the world.
Based on end-users, the medical equipment rental market has been segmented into personal/home care medical equipment rental and institutional medical equipment rental. The chronic and geriatric patients sub-segment accounted for the largest share of over 50.0% of the personal/home care medical equipment rental segment in 2013. It is expected to lead the market during the forecast period. The chronic and geriatric patients segment is expected to rise with the increase in the number of patients suffering from chronic illnesses and the increasing geriatric population.
Europe was the largest market for rental medical equipment in terms of revenue in 2013, followed by North America. Medical institutions in Europe aim to reduce costs through renting/leasing of medical equipment. However, North America is expected to surpass Europe in terms of market share during the forecast period due to the high adoption rate and increasing preference for rental medical equipment. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing market during the forecast period. Rapidly growing population and increasing government initiatives in emerging countries such as China and India are some of the factors attributed to the high growth rate in the region. In addition, the presence of a large number of companies manufacturing cheaper equipment and increasing investments by health care medical institutions would ensure steady market penetration and growth in the near future.
The global medical equipment rental market is highly fragmented, with only a few large players dominating it. Apria Healthcare Group, Inc., Stryker Corporation, Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. and Siemens Financial Services, Inc. exhibit the largest geographical reach with presence in multiple device categories and catering to varied end-user segments. Their presence in developed and emerging regions along with flexible offerings has made them attractive providers in the global market. Other companies include Centric Health Corporation, Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc., Nunn’s Home Medical Equipment, Port Huron Hospital Medical Equipment, US Med-Equip, Inc., Universal Hospital Services, Inc., Woodley Equipment Company Ltd., Walgreen Co., and Westside Medical Supply, Inc.