Medical Simulation Market : Opportunities and Challenges

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Medical Simulation Market : Opportunities and Challenges

Medical Simulation Market : Opportunities and Challenges

The prominent players in the global Medical Simulation Market are CAE (Canada), Laerdal Medical (Norway), 3D Systems (US), Simulab Corporation (US), Simulaids (US), Limbs & Things (US), Kyoto Kagaku (Japan), Mentice (Sweden), Medaphor (UK), and Gaumard Scientific Company (US).
Market growth can largely be attributed to factors such as the benefits of simulation over traditional learning, the increasing demand for minimally invasive treatments, and the increasing focus on patient safety.

The medical simulation market is projected to reach USD 2.57 billion by 2022 from USD 1.28 billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 14.9% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. Market growth can largely be attributed to factors such as the benefits of simulation over traditional learning, the increasing demand for minimally invasive treatments, and the increasing focus on patient safety. The shortage of healthcare personnel, growing awareness on simulation education in emerging countries, and technological advancements are also expected to provide growth opportunities for players in the market.

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How the shortage of healthcare personnel is an opportunity?

At present, the global healthcare industry is facing a severe shortage of healthcare workers—escalating to 12.9 million by 2035, according to the WHO. Moreover, according to the WHO, there are 83 countries across the world with less than 23 skilled healthcare professionals per 10,000 people. In developed countries, nearly 40% of nurses are expected to leave their jobs in the next decade. This high attrition rate can be attributed to the high workload, long working hours, and relatively low salary structures. This shortage of skilled healthcare workers is also responsible for driving the number of preventable deaths across the globe. About 90% of all maternal deaths and 80% of all stillbirths that occur in 58 countries are largely attributed to the lack of trained midwives.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, by 2030, the US population under age 18 is projected to grow by only 5%, while the population aged 65 and over is projected to grow by 55%. Since seniors have much higher per capita consumption of healthcare, the demand for physicians—especially specialty physicians—is projected to increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US will need another 1.1 million registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses in the next five years.

This dearth of skilled healthcare personnel provides significant opportunities for the growth of medical simulation technologies in training and education applications. Many nursing schools are using technology to expand teaching and learning capacities, such as webcasting lectures to a large number of students at campuses spread across a wide geographic area. Clinical simulation centers and agreements with local healthcare service providers can help nursing schools to secure clinical and other opportunities for students. Simulation-based training may help maximize the role of mid-level and community health workers to make frontline health services more accessible and acceptable. This will help improve the skills of healthcare professionals and ultimately reduce preventable deaths across the globe. Patient simulators, virtual environments, and interventional simulators can further help improve the effectiveness of training for medical professionals.

How the high cost of simulators is a challenge?

Patient simulators are extremely expensive devices, priced anywhere between USD 30,000 to USD 150,000 in developed nations—this is a key deterrent to their greater adoption in such countries, where the availability of government funds is limited. In developing nations, the need to ensure the affordability of medical simulation is a major challenge for manufacturers.

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In the US, the low profit margins of healthcare organizations have affected their capital expenditure. The Congressional Budget Office in 2017 reduced its spending for Medicare by USD 25 billion per year or 4%, and funding for non-Medicare health programs, most notably Medicaid and Obamacare, would take a USD 1.3 trillion hit, a 20% cut over the course of 10 years. Lower reimbursements are expected to increase the cost of simulators, thus affecting their adoption in the country. Low profitability and curtailed capital expenditure, thus, pose significant challenges to the growth of the medical simulation market in the coming years. Government funding initiatives in the future and the adoption of web-based simulation may help the healthcare community to overcome the cost barrier in the medical simulation market.

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