Market Analysis: Hospital Beds

Market Analysis: Hospital Beds

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The global hospital beds market has become increasingly competitive in the last decade, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Today's health care market Ð defined by cost-cutting initiatives, new device taxes and comparative bidding processes is not conducive to growing sales of a product that can last nearly 20 years. Still, the aging populations in Europe and the U.S., and associated uptick in the number of diseases and hospitalizations, are likely to strengthen the market and result in a marginal increase in overall growth, GIA reports.

The scenario continues to press bed manufacturers to focus on technology that will help health care facilities increase efficiency, as well as on markets in developing countries that are actively improving their health care systems. GIA predicts that the global market for hospital beds will reach $4 billion by 2017.

In 2009, the global economic downturn dented growth prospects across all industries, including health care, as customers looked towards delay of capital purchases. However, the need for ensuring greater safety for patients and to improve patient outcomes compelled several hospitals to make strategic purchasing decisions despite adverse economic conditions. The need to replace aging hospital infrastructure, including patient beds, proved to be a key driving factor for hospitals seeking to make investments in such products. Manufacturers responded to that need by creating beds designed to improve efficiency. For example, Hill-Rom's COMLinx line offers RFID location technology, and Stryker's Trio acts as a pre-op bed, surgical table and recovery bed in one.

As reported by GIA's report on Hospital Beds (Powered and Manual), the U.S. continues to remain the largest regional market. The U.S. is a relatively mature market for hospital beds. Growth is driven by replacement demand for hospital beds incorporating advanced technology. In-demand technology includes the integration of scales and vital signs monitors, self-propelling beds and weight-bearing beds that can fold into a sitting position and help patients get out of bed. Demand for beds made to handle the weight of bariatric patients is also on the rise. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market.

Government efforts for improving health care services are enhancing emphasis on new hospital construction activity as well as renovation/ upgrade of existing infrastructure in the region, which in turn is expected to fuel demand for hospital beds. General-purpose beds represent the largest product segment, while pressure relief beds represent the fastest growing segment. Several major manufacturers have created bed surfaces specifically designed
to alleviate pressure that can cause decubitus ulcers, which can lengthen hospital stay and increase costs, drive growth and innovation in mattresses and other accessories.

Major market players include Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., ArjoHuntleigh, Invacare Corporation, Kinetic Concepts Inc., Paramount Bed Co., Ltd., Stryker Corporation and Sunrise Medical Inc. Purchasers can expect the continued introduction of new technology, as manufacturers compete for share in a market that is defined by demand for efficiency and innovation.

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