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Oxygen Concentrators

Portable segment continues to be the mainstay of the oxygen concentrator market

The Indian oxygen therapy market is expected to experience continued pronounced growth in portable oxygen concentrators and high-flow nasal therapy devices. It was the portable concentrators that outperformed stationary units in 2021.

Generally, oxygen therapy devices are used to treat patients who can no longer receive adequate volumes of oxygen through regular breathing and those who require higher concentrations of oxygen. The long-term driver of sales for these devices is the movement away from traditional cylinder-based methods of oxygen delivery and toward portable concentrating technology.

Alongside this trend is the growing preference for portable units over the less expensive stationary concentrators. While portable concentrators will always have a more expensive up-front cost to providers, the long-term benefits compared to alternative methods have been apparent. While concentrators and cylinders deliver oxygenated air to patients outside of the hospital, stand-alone high-flow nasal devices have emerged as an exemplary delivery system, especially within hospitals.

The shift from aluminum cylinders to oxygen concentrators continues to be a principal trend in the market. Oxygen concentrators filter air in a room to generate medical oxygen, while cylinders rely on a limited supply of oxygen. These devices, specifically the more portable concentrators, are considered the next generation of oxygen therapy and could improve the lifestyles of patients. They have been generating great demand by allowing for more mobility and independence while offering more safety benefits and convenience.

Portable concentrators are growing at a faster pace compared to stationary models. The carrying-case variety is particularly popular within the market, experiencing double-digit growth annually even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to rapid technological advancements, smaller products now have oxygen release rates, liters per minute (LPM), that were previously only achievable by larger, stationary machines. However, the market is limited by the fact that some patients require continuous flow, which is rarely offered by portable machines. Overall, the shift toward costlier portable concentrators in place of stationary models and oxygen cylinders is set to generate growth in the market, with the total market looking to grow in the mid-single digits for the future.

The Indian oxygen concentrators market is estimated at ₹615 crore in FY2021. The short-term surge in unit sales was directly attributed to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest in the series of respiratory diseases. As such, increasing hospitalizations, respiratory complications, and a spike in conditions requiring oxygen concentrators contributed to the growth observed in 2021.

The portable oxygen concentrator segment dominated the market with a share of around 81.01 percent in FY2021 owing to the associated advantages such as ease of use, small size, portability, and increasing preference for portable concentrators. Additionally, advancements in these concentrators, such as long battery life, miniaturization, and integration of membrane technology, are further expected to drive the segmental growth.

The rental segment dominated the market until FY2021; however, the trend is gradually changing. Based on offering, the market can be bifurcated into rental and new sales. Earlier, oxygen concentrators were used by patients on oxygen support and in hospitals only. The patients on oxygen support normally took the concentrators on rental basis only. However, it has been witnessed that with lack of hospital beds and surge in Covid-19 cases, and widespread use of oxygen concentrators in Covid-19 treatment, the trend has changed ever since the first quarter of FY2022. People have started buying their own personal concentrators owing to the risk of spread of infection through the rental ones. This has also led to an increase in the prices of these concentrators and black marketing in the country.

The Indian market at present is dominated by imports only, with concentrators being imported from countries like China, the United States, Mexico, and Germany, among others. A major part of these imports comes from China alone. Either the concentrator is imported, or different parts and accessories of oxygen concentrators are imported and assembled in India. However, the next 5 years are expected to witness the emergence of several domestic players who will be manufacturing concentrators in India. The current shortage of oxygen and oxygen concentrators in the country due to the surge of Covid-19 cases has led to many companies and organizations starting the development and tie-ups among the companies to start manufacturing of concentrators in India.

Recently, Mohali-based Walnut Medical has developed 5L and 10L portable medical grade oxygen concentrators, based on pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology in India with an oxygen purity of above 96 percent at a pressure of 55–75 kpa. The company was supported by CAWACH 2020 grant of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneur­ship Development Board (NSTEDB) under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and they developed the world-class oxygen concentrator in a year to reduce dependence on imports.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has gone for the commercial production of its indigenously developed oxygen concentrator named Sanjeevani. In order to reach commercial scale for benefiting the public at large, the premier organization transferred and licensed the technology to Bengaluru-based Albot Technologies Pvt. Ltd. by signing a memorandum of understanding with the company. Equipped with advanced PSA technology, Sanjeevani works at a flow rate of 10 LPM (liter per minute) with an oxygen purity of 92 percent ±3. The concentrator has an adjustable capacity of 1 to 10 LPM, and is suitable for use for both medical as well as personal applications.

Some of the major players operating in the Indian oxygen concentrators market include Philips India Limited, BPL Medical Technologies Private Limited, Nidek Medical India Pvt. Ltd., Sanrai Med India Private Limited, GCE India Pvt. Ltd., Kannu Impex (India) Pvt. Ltd., Monarch Meditech, MediKart HealthCare Systems Pvt. Ltd., Technocare Medisystems, and GPC Medical Ltd.

The global medical oxygen concentrators market size is estimated at USD 3.64 billion in 2021, and expected to reach USD 4.99 billion by the end of 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8 percent. The oxygen therapy sector is evolving speedily with the incorporation of new technologies in the currently available products. These new devices have rectified some problems that were responsible for the side-effects related with the oxygen flow. Lately, new devices have been designed that automatically regulate oxygen stream rates to the requirements of each patient, for maintaining constant oxygen-saturation levels. Such closed-loop arrangements can potentially decrease medical error, reduce morbidity and mortality, and decrease care costs. The advance of continuous-flow technology has carried out major improvements in the working of medical oxygen concentrators. Technologies, such as pulse dose technology, are also expected to open up new avenues for the creators of oxygen concentrators. Convenience like high mobility, better comfort, improved technologies, and increased efficiencies presented by the technology will enhance its demand in the near future.

The portable oxygen concentrators have undergone major technical improvements, and these modern oxygen concentrators are evolving continuously. The ease offered by these little, quieter, and light concentrators is anticipated to boost the progress of oxygen concentrators. These aspects along with high expenditure by major companies in research and development, growing per capita healthcare spending in developing nations, and combination of latest software with the advanced oxygen concentrators to increase efficacy of products is expected to offer new prospects in the worldwide oxygen concentrators market. The global portable oxygen concentrators market size is forecasted to reach USD 2.32 billion by 2027 from USD 1.58 billion in 2022, registering a CAGR of 8 percent between 2022 and 2027.

The overall market transition from stationary to portable concentrators slowed in 2022-21 as health providers have been allocating more resources and aid toward the less costly stationary models. Also, fewer users required the feature of portability because of numerous stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions across the world. However, the portable market is expected to quickly recover and maintain high levels of future growth.

The rapid emergence of high-flow nasal therapy. High-flow nasal therapy involves the delivery of humidified oxygen at high rates of flow. The therapy is intended to reduce anatomic dead space, improve gas exchange, and considerably reduce the exertion of breathing. Specialized high-flow devices can reach rates of up to 60 L/min, while traditional oxygen therapy primarily resides within the 1 to 10 L/min range.

The stand-alone, high-acuity high-flow nasal therapy device market exploded in 2020-21, growing over 200 percent. These devices became imperative combatants in the fight against Covid-19 on account of the disease’s impact on the ability to oxygenate. An additional aspect of the devices’ popularity is the prominent increase in patient comfort and compliance. As the treatment grows in notability and use, the market is expected to continue to thrive, especially when accounting for unforeseen long-term Covid-19-related complications. The stand-alone, high-acuity market is currently dominated by two players, so it will be highly susceptible to the performance of those companies.

High-flow therapy devices are used in tandem with specialty cannula. High-flow nasal cannula saw a dramatic growth, with the market doubling from 2019-20 to 2020-21. As different therapies have been used on Covid-19 patients, high-flow nasal therapy proved to be an effective treatment. The high-flow cannula market is expected to stay relatively strong as high-flow nasal therapy devices become more and more widespread. Prices are not expected to drop significantly, considering the low number of current players, but this could change as entrants with lower selling prices become more prevalent.

Beyond the pandemic. While Covid-19 highlighted the oxygen technology gap in many countries, the need for this life-saving medical gas goes far beyond the pandemic.

Oxygen therapy is critical in the treatment of newborns and children with pneumonia, which takes the lives of 800,000 children each year, almost all of which is preventable. It is also an essential part of primary healthcare, used for supporting mothers and newborns with birth complications, and keeping patients stable during surgery.

For too long, oxygen therapy has remained out of reach of many whose lives are at risk. Private and public groups are working together to guarantee that this life-saving device reaches people who need it most and build back better after Covid-19.

The oxygen therapy market is expected to experience continued pronounced growth in portable oxygen concentrators and high-flow nasal therapy devices. However, it was portable concentrators that outperformed stationary units in 2021 due to Covid-19-related factors. The positive benefits of oxygen concentrators over oxygen cylinders, such as ease-of-use and safety, proved to be even more valuable during the Covid-19 pandemic, which intensified an already existing trend. The stand-alone, high-flow nasal therapy device market was taken to new heights in 2021, and will continue to grow as the treatment is adopted by more care providers into the future.

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