The ENT (ear, nose and throat) medical device market is set to fully recover from the impact of Covid-19 next year.

Mass closures of ENT clinics and postponement of elective procedures in hospitals drove down device sales by approximately 76% in the worst-hit months of 2020.

Analytics firm GlobalData is now anticipating the market will surge in revenue in 2021, however, compensating for losses experienced throughout this year.

In the more long-term future, analysts believe the ENT market is “likely” to return to its pre-pandemic compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8% and will exceed a market value of $10.6bn by 2025.

Brian Hicks, medical devices analyst at GlobalData, said: “The sudden bounce in trajectory towards complete sales recovery was in line with the timing of the gradual reopening of ENT clinics and resumption of many elective procedures.

“Unsurprisingly, the pent-up demand for high-selling devices, such as hearing aids, and those for common ENT procedures like cochlear implantation, drove the uptick in revenue.

“Any additional cutbacks on ENT procedure volumes and ENT clinic closures will negatively impact the device market again.

“Fortunately, however, as the imminent production of multiple effective Covid-19 vaccines will lead to a healthier, vaccinated population, the likelihood of additional ENT clinic closures and procedure postponements will subside.”


The ENT medical device market

A GlobalData market analysis of ENT device sales from leading manufacturers throughout 2020 – such as Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, Stryker and Cochlear – revealed the severity of the initial impact of Covid-19 on the industry.

Hicks said: “Many of the leading ENT device manufacturers have reported year-over-year [YOY] losses ranging from 20% to 30% in their ENT business units during the most impacted financial quarters.

“But, when investigating closer into hospital and clinic-purchasing patterns of their devices on a monthly basis, we see a much steeper decline in sales during the hardest hit month, which was concentrated in April, and frequently exceeded 50% when compared to their pre-pandemic levels.”

On the other hand, GlobalData also revealed that many of these companies have enjoyed a “remarkably rapid rate of recovery” in recent months, with US medical device giant Medtronic disclosing a generally positive third quarter financial report in late-November.

And, provided ENT clinics remain open and hospitals continue conducting elective ENT procedures at the current rate, GlobalData expects most of the aforementioned device manufacturers to fully recover and report YOY growth by their next fiscal quarter.