The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) has released the Q4 2018 market data 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. They were however 0.3% down on the same period last year. Private sales continued their strong performance with hearing instrument sales up 5.2% on 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.

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.

“It has been an encouraging end to the financial year with the private sector continuing to grow as more and more people realise 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.

Notes for editors:

– BIHIMA represents the hearing instrument manufacturers of Britain and Ireland, working in partnership with other professional, trade, regulatory and consumer organisations within the health care and charitable sectors. We raise consumer awareness about the latest hearing technology, and aim to influence government and policy makers to improve the lives of people with hearing difficulties.

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