An incubator is an enclosed device or a setup that is used for growing cell cultures and maintaining them at specific temperatures, humidity levels and also ensuring a favorable growth environment. In 1860, a French man, Etienne Stephane Tarnier was the first to apply it for regular care of the premature babies. An incubator, more often, is a device used in hospitals to provide a protective and controlled environment for premature babies or those born with health related issues.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, i.e. less than 37 weeks of gestation. This is a strong indication of the requirement for infant incubators. Infant incubators provide heat therapy, ventilation, jaundice management, and other types of treatment that premature babies tend to require. In a few cases neonatal incubators are also used for full term infants, who are born with some form of illness and need to be kept under observation in incubator for extended period. Medical incubators are also useful for new born animals and hypothermic patients. The culture incubators are used in microbiology for facilitating the growth of microorganisms and plant cell culture. Incubators are used by hatching centers to facilitate the process of hatching for chicken or other poultry and are used for human consumption or for research.
A number of factors affect the growth of the incubators market. Key factors affecting the expansion of the incubators market include rising demand for incubators for treatment, development and advancement in incubator devices, growing prevalence of premature babies, hypothermic child, low birth weight, and a need to investigate babies are expected to boost the global incubators market. Other key drivers are technological advancement in incubator devices, also incubators are used for clinical testing processes and drug delivery.
The market is also witnessing restraints or challenges such as development of other incubation procedures and technologies and stiff competition among existing incubator device manufacturers. Moreover, product recalls, government regulations for reduction of overall health care cost, and high cost of device are restraining the incubators market.
The incubators market can be segmented into product type, end-user, and region. In terms of product type, the market can be segmented into neonatal incubators, microbiological incubators
hatching incubators and others. The neonatal incubators segment holds significant share of the market. In terms of end-user, the market can be segmented into hospitals, gynecology clinics, diagnostic centers, and research & academics. The hospitals segment dominates the incubators market.
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In terms of geography, the incubators market can be segmented into five major regions: North America (U.S. and Canada), Europe (Germany, France, U.K., etc.), Asia Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, India, etc.), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, etc.), and Middle East & Africa (GCC Countries, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, etc.). North America holds prominent share of the market due to advanced technology in the region. The emerging markets in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa are estimated to expand considerably during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026. This is attributed to presence of key manufacturers, high population, increasing investments by key players operating in these countries, expanding health care industry, and increase in the patient population in these countries. India, China, and Brazil are expected to fuel expansion of the incubators market due to increasing investments by government bodies to enhance health care facilities.
Key companies operating in the global incubators market are GE Healthcare, Panasonic Healthcare Co., Ltd., Thermo Fisher Scientific, Phoenix Medical Systems (P) Ltd., Hettich Lab Technology, Atom Medical Corporation, VWR Lab Products Pvt. Ltd., Natus Medical Incorporated, Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA and Memmert GmbH + Co.KG.