The enteral feeding devices market is estimated to be valued at USD 2.99 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2024. The enteral feeding devices market is broadly segmented by type, age group, application, end user, and region. Fueled by the growing focus on patient nutrition and safety, the enteral feeding industry has experienced significant growth in the past decade.
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High growth opportunities in emerging countries
The Asia Pacific region is expected to offer potential growth opportunities to market players in the coming years. This can primarily be attributed to the diversified healthcare markets in this region, growing incidence of infectious and chronic disorders, and increasing R&D initiatives to develop innovative medical technologies. In addition, infrastructural developments in healthcare facilities, increasing healthcare expenditure, and the low-cost manufacturing advantage offered by emerging APAC countries are expected to encourage market players to invest in this region in the coming years.
Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases in developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the total number of new cancer cases in India in 2018 was 1.16 million, which is likely to reach 1.73 million by 2020. Similarly, an estimated 4.3 million new cancer cases and 2.9 million new cancer deaths occurred in China in 2018 (GLOBOCAN 2018). Enteral feeding is considered the gold standard for the treatment of malnutrition in cancer patients. Thus, owing to the increasing prevalence of cancer in India and China, the demand for enteral feeding devices in these countries is expected to grow.
Currently, the largest number of preterm births are registered in Asia. According to the WHO (2018), 60% of preterm births occur in Africa and South Asia, with India, China, Pakistan, and Indonesia accounting for the largest number of preterm births. Improvements in the healthcare systems in these countries, coupled with the rising awareness about treatment options among patients, have resulted in an increase in the adoption of advanced technologies (including enteral feeding devices) in these countries.
An increase in the per capita income and healthcare expenses in developing markets across the APAC and Latin America has increased patient access to advanced healthcare treatments. However, some countries in the APAC and Latin America rely heavily on the purchase of medical devices (including enteral feeding devices) from developed countries such as the US, Japan, Germany, and Ireland. Moreover, many leading players in the enteral feeding devices market do not have a strong presence in the emerging markets across the APAC and Latin America. This represents significant growth opportunities for players operating in the enteral feeding devices market.
Owing to the presence of significant growth prospects, many global enteral feeding device manufacturers are focusing on emerging markets in the APAC region. Low-cost manufacturing in these emerging markets provides an added advantage to market players in terms of establishing their manufacturing facilities and improving their profit margins.
Insufficient reimbursement for enteral nutrition
Enteral nutrition therapy is reimbursed in developed countries such as the US, Canada, Germany, France, the UK, and Japan. However, reimbursements for enteral feeding in developing countries across the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East are insufficient. This poses a significant challenge to the widespread adoption of enteral feeding in developing countries. Furthermore, decreasing federal funding and subsequent reimbursement cuts for home healthcare services over the next five years are expected to add to the challenges faced by players in the enteral feeding devices market.
Reimbursement for enteral nutrition is made available in the US under Part B of the Medicare program. However, this reimbursement service is not applicable to any services furnished by non-physician professionals (home care settings). According to an MDPI article (2017), financial support for home enteral nutrition (HEN) is only available in 40% of countries, globally. In 2016, the CMS cut payments by USD 260 million for home healthcare agencies; in July 2017, the CMS proposed a further 0.4% decrease. This is a significant concern in the market as non-certified home care agencies (60%) will face this issue of reimbursement cuts. Similarly, in Europe, reimbursement for enteral nutrition is only provided in high-income countries and upper-middle-income countries.
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