Following reports that COVID-19 led to severe shortages of respiratory ventilators globally, the demand of positive airway pressure devices is rising. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global positive airway pressure devices market was valued at US$1.8 billion in 2019, at a robust annual rate of 7.5%. The market growth is set to reach US$2.2 billion in 2020, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Tina Deng, MSc, senior medical devices analyst at GlobalData, says in a release, “During ventilator shortage crisis, alternative devices capable of delivering breaths or pressure support have been considered to satisfy medically necessary treatment. In the US, FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations for ventilators, allowing use alternative products such positive pressure breathing devices during the COVID-19 pandemic.“

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are used to treat patients with sleep apnea who require short-term mechanical assistance. With increasing demand and a supply shortage of ventilators, many hospitals use CPAP machines as alternatives for ventilators.

Devices makers ResMed and Philips both reported strong Q1 results in the sector. Philips’ sleep and respiratory care sales grew in the double digits, while revenue from ResMed grew by 12% in the US and by 27% in the EU and Asia-Pacific.”

Deng concludes: “The positive airway pressure devices market is set to grow robustly regardless of the major upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, positive airway pressure is an aerosol generating procedure and requires expanded personal protection equipment precautions.

“These devices can help patients with breathing problems that have not progressed to the critical stage. Additionally, they could be used to wean some improving patients from the invasive ventilators, enable their usage for incoming patients.”