The sleep apnea devices market is projected to reach USD 7.50 billion by 2024 from USD 4.51 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 10.7% during the forecast period. Growth in this market is mainly driven by factors such as the large pool of undiagnosed sleep apnea patients, growing awareness about the ill effects of untreated sleep apnea, growing usage of oral appliances, technological advancements in sleep apnea devices, considerable venture capital funding, and the increasing number of companies venturing into sleep apnea and oral appliances markets. On the other hand, the high cost of CPAP machines and complex referral pathways and long waiting periods are expected to limit market growth to a certain extent during the forecast period.
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Growing demand for home healthcare
An increasing number of people are opting for home treatments owing to exorbitant healthcare costs in hospital settings. The home healthcare market includes a wide range of devices, including both sleep apnea diagnostic and therapeutic devices. These devices and services play an important role in providing cost-effective healthcare to patients. For example, the cost of a diagnostic polysomnogram (PSG) in a sleep lab is around USD 1,000 to USD 4,000, depending on the region. However, the typical cost of a home sleep test ranges between USD 150 to USD 400, much less expensive than an in-lab study. In-lab sleep studies are costly due to the significant overheads involved. For instance, testing rooms require extensive remodeling to accommodate the necessary diagnostic equipment, which itself is expensive. Also, a technologist must be present the entire time, generating significant labor costs.
Rising sleep apnea diagnostic costs have made health insurance companies turn to home sleep testing as a cost-saving measure. Home sleep tests have now been mandated by many insurers as a first-line diagnostic tool, with in-lab studies only approved for more complex cases. Moreover, sleeping in an unfamiliar environment during a sleep study and being hooked up to multiple electrodes may become uncomfortable for patients, which might affect the test results. A home test, on the other hand, is administered in the comfort of one’s own house and thus helps in accurate diagnosis. Apart from cost reductions, convenience, and comfort, home healthcare also counters other issues like finite resources—testing beds and technologists in home sleep apnea management, which increases the waiting period for patients. The rise in the number of individuals aged 60 years and above has increased the demand for home healthcare devices because the elderly population prefers home healthcare over hospital stays. Thus, the home care segment provides lucrative growth opportunities for players in the market in the coming years.
Lack of patient compliance
Lack of patient compliance to CPAP therapy is a crucial factor challenging the growth of the market. Treatment compliance has always been an issue with sleep apnea patients, mainly due to various issues such as lack of affordability and comfort. Patients are also not willing to bear treatment costs due to very weak reimbursements in geographies like Asia (India and China) and RoW. Non-compliance is found to be more rampant among CPAP users. Studies show that around 30% to 50% of patients experience difficulties in continuing CPAP treatments due to its claustrophobic nature. Another survey discovered that about half of CPAP patients stopped using their device within 1–3 weeks of use with discomfort from the masks or airflow being the major reason for non-compliance with treatment.
To overcome this challenge, various CPAP device manufacturers are making improvements to address low compliance issues. Manufacturers are developing smaller and quieter CPAP devices and are also trying to incorporate softer materials into masks, ensuring availability of mask variants as well as overall reductions in pressure discomfort levels. To address pressure discomfort, most manufacturers offer various features in their devices. These features ease pressure discomfort by sensing and/or reducing the machine pressure upon exhalation.
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