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Wheelchair and walker markets embrace the era of rapid growth
- Jun 05, 2018 -

Many developing countries already account for 10% of their population, while northern and western European countries account for around 20%. The elderly due to stroke, leg disease and so on caused by the reduction of walking ability or loss of very much. The wheelchair industry association of the United States predicts that over the next 10 years, wheelchair and walker products around the world will usher in an era of rapid growth.

                                                Wheelchair demand is increasing

The wheelchair market has continued to grow over the past 50 years. Global wheelchair sales increased from 1.6 million to 4.2 million to 5 million vehicles a year between 2000 and 2010, an annual increase of about 7 percent, according to Frost & Sullivan, a leading U.S. consulting firm. In 2011, global wheelchair sales exceeded the 5 million mark, with a total sales volume of 4.6 billion to 4.8 billion us dollars.

An analysis by the wheelchair industry association of the United States says the need for wheelchairs is increasing across the world as the world ages and stroke rates remain high. Among them, the demand for wheelchairs in Europe and the United States grows slowly. Demand for wheelchairs is rising in some emerging economies and Latin America.

                                                    Materials tend to be light

Wheelchair is generally divided into manual wheelchair and electric wheelchair. Early conventional carbon-steel controlled wheelchairs were cheap, and there is still a market for them, but their market demand and production are decreasing year by year due to their heavy weight and inconvenient handling.

In recent years, the manufacturer on the wheelchair material to move the nerves, some use of lightweight materials, such as thin stainless steel pipe, aluminum and stainless steel pipe, aluminum alloy, titanium steel and engineering plastic - metal composite tube, etc.) made of wheelchair by market favour.

Electric wheelchairs are also being made lighter and more flexible, making them more power-efficient. A British company has developed an electric wheelchair that weighs just 6.3kg and can be lifted by the elderly and children. The product can be disassembled in two parts, saving storage space, but it is expensive (nearly 2,600 pounds per unit). With the advent of long-lived lithium batteries, the lead-acid batteries with short discharge time and very heavy discharge time are gradually disappearing from the electric wheelchair power market.

                                                  Wheelchair for people with poor vision

The newly developed wheelchair is becoming more and more humanized and practical. For example, for patients with glaucoma, cataract and macular degeneration and other eye diseases often because the problem of vision problems affect travel, the company recently developed a use of ultrasonic units electric wheelchair.

The electric wheelchair, which resembles a bat, can emit a certain frequency of ultrasound waves to detect obstacles, it said. In the case of obstacles in front of it, it can provide three ways of warning. Second, the vibrator under the seat cushion reminds the user that this mode is suitable for the deaf and dumb people. The third mode requires users to put on headphones to listen for voice warnings. The manufacturer said the wheelchair USES a cheap digital electronic integration block, which is slightly more expensive than an ordinary electric wheelchair.

                                              Manual wheelchairs are still popular

The advantages of manual wheelchair are strong structure, easy maintenance and low price. Electric wheelchairs, by contrast, are expensive and difficult to maintain. According to the wheelchair industry association of the United States, the ratio of sales of manual wheelchairs to electric wheelchairs in the international market is 49:51. In developed countries, wheelchairs are included in the coverage of medical insurance reimbursement, so there are more buyers of electric wheelchairs. Consumers in the developing world, on the other hand, are likely to opt for a cheaper manual wheelchair.

Officials from the wheelchair industry association of the United States believe the market for manual wheelchairs will perform well as lightweight, manual wheelchairs are being developed and marketed. In 2011, the global market for manual wheelchairs totaled $1.8 billion, accounting for about 33 percent of wheelchair sales over the same period. Predicts 2018, the global market sales manual wheelchair will amount to $2.9 billion to $3.1 billion, plus the sales of electric wheelchair, the accumulative total will exceed the $10 billion mark, about twice the current international wheelchair market sales.

                                               Walking AIDS are in the ascendant

It is well known that many will happen in patients with hemiplegia after stroke, doctors usually require these patients from 500 ~ 1000 steps on foot every day, the purpose is to prevent the lower limb muscle atrophy and even complete loss of ability to walk.

Since the 1980s, manufacturers in developed countries such as the United States have developed mobility -aid products that help people with hemiplegia walk. Listed on the first step to help under the machine is a kind of stainless steel equipment has 4 wheels, in which patients can stand to hold the instrument, if tired, also can step in to help implement the rest to sit on the board. This kind of stepper design is reasonable, the structure is simple, each country yield is bigger. In order to adapt to rehabilitation training for patients with low stroke degree, foreign manufacturers have also developed a foot/electric dual rehabilitation vehicle that can be used for both foot riding and battery driven. This kind of rehabilitation car is very popular in western countries such as the United States.

A big advantage in a wheelchair production in our country, but not high value-added products, production enterprises should pay close attention to the international domestic wheelchair, manual wheelchair, electric wheelchair step such as product development trends, to launch new products welcomed by the international market