Electrodes market projected to reach US$1.9B

High prevalence of chronic diseases spurs demand for electrodes for medical devices, according to a new report by GIA.

February 28, 2014
Manufacturing Group
Design/Engineering Devices/Implants/Equipment People/Facilities

San Jose, California – Demand for medical devices is on the rise, particularly diagnostic equipment. Rising cost of healthcare worldwide, and increasing healthcare cost burden for governments due to longer hospital stays, is encouraging a shift towards early diagnosis and remote patient care. As a result, the number of diagnostic procedures carried out is rising each year. Electrodes, which convert ionic currents produced by muscle and nerve cells in the body to electric currents, and further amplify them for medical devices to better monitor changes to vital parameters, are assuming critical role in the diagnosis of multiple conditions. With rising demand for medical devices in diagnosing various conditions, demand for electrodes in these devices is also rising.

Global Industry Analysts (GIA) officials announce the release of a comprehensive global report on electrodes for medical devices markets. The global market for electrodes for medical devices is projected to reach US$1.9 billion by 2020, driven by aging population, changing lifestyles, rising obesity rates, high prevalence of chronic diseases, better access to healthcare, and growing preference for preventive care.

Medical device electrodes are commoditized products with limited scope for differentiation. The market is highly competitive, price sensitive and mature. Advances in electrode technology are primarily aimed at enhancing patient comfort, maintaining skin integrity, and improving electrode-tissue interface for improved recording and stimulation. Efforts are also aimed at the development of economically priced electrodes with superior electrical performance and resistance for dry-out. Among the current research areas in electrode technologies are development of various polymer and lattice materials, nanowire electrodes, nanotextured coatings, and integrated electronics for tissue safe high-resolution electrical measurements. Health concerns have risen over the use of reusable electrodes over the years, which in turn has resulted in the continued shift and growing adoption of single-use electrodes in various applications, a factor that is also driving the overall electrode demand. Improvement in dry electrode technology and application of nanotechnology in electrode design are also fueling growth.

Devices and techniques used in cardiac monitoring, including ECG monitoring, are increasingly becoming sophisticated. Electrodes have traditionally been considered a weak link across the chain of ECG monitoring. ECG electrodes have been known for their susceptibility to a wide gamut of functional issues such as high skin impedance, movement of the electrode cable, and their poor electrical contact. Several studies have highlighted these issues setting a precedent for manufacturers to focus more on quality as well as better adhesive power of the electrode, and better performance of the conducting gel. Nonetheless, significant developments have taken place at the electrode quality level over the years. Consequently, ECG electrodes are continuing to witness growth in demand along with other after-market supplies including cables and lead wires, driven by rising procedural volume of ECG monitoring, growing use of single-use products, and improving technology.

The electrodes market is witnessing a transition towards use of single-use electrodes. Physicians prefer pre-gelled, disposable electrodes that already have an in-built adhesive. Rising nosocomial infections and other health concerns related to re-usable electrodes are other factors driving the shift. Re-usable electrodes play a major role in causing cross-infections, where cross contamination occurs mainly due to inadequate removal of the electrode gel. The United States represents the largest market worldwide, while Asia-Pacific is forecast to grow at the fastest CAGR of 9.9% for the analysis period.

Major players covered in the report include 3M Co., Ambu A/S, CONMED Corp., Covidien, C.R Bard Inc., Leonhard Lang GmbH, Natus Medical Incorporated, Prosurg Inc., Rhythmlink International LLC, and ZOLL Medical Corp. among others.

The research report, “Electrodes for Medical Devices: A Global Strategic Business Report,” provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, mergers, acquisitions, and strategic industry activities of companies worldwide.

Source: Global Industry Analysts Inc.