The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) announced the release of the Q4 2018/19 results of its members, providing an insight into how the UK and Irish hearing care market ended its financial year.
Following a similar pattern to 2017, NHS sales in Q4 were considerably above the rest of the year in terms of quantity, according to the BIHIMA report. The BIHIMA reports NHS sales were down 0.3% from the same period last year, though private sales continued their strong performance with hearing instrument sales up 5.2% from the same period last year.
Taking 2018 as a whole, the NHS was down 1.3%, a decrease of 17,867 hearing instruments on 2017, whilst the private sector showed growth of 4.2% during 2018, an increase of 12,866. This means that there was an overall decrease across the whole market (including both NHS and private sector) of 4,981 hearing instruments (0.3%) in the UK during 2018. This compares to an overall increase of 62,367 hearing instruments or 3.8% in 2017 compared to 2016, according to BIHIMA.
The results from Ireland show a strong Q4 performance, with the number of units sold up 8.8% for the quarter resulting in an increase of 1.3% for the full year.
BIHIMA also tracks the trends in the types of technology being selected by patients in the private sector. The Q4 results demonstrate the ongoing decline of BTE (behind-the-ear) technology, down to just 2.9% of market share, compared to the RITE (receiver-in-the-ear) style which continues to dominate the market, now accounting for 70.9% of units sold privately, said the BIHIMA report.
“It has been an encouraging end to the financial year with the private sector continuing to grow as more and more people realize the importance of hearing well using the very latest technology,” said the BIHIMA chairman, Paul Surridge.
In its role as the voice for the hearing technology industry, BIHIMA regularly monitors the market and releases the results of its members every quarter. To keep up to date with the latest market information, download the results here: https://www.bihima.com/resources/statistics/.