How Is Increasing Prevalence of Obesity Contributing to Growing Demand for Insulin Delivery Devices?
The lifestyle of people has changed considerably over the years, thanks to globalization and urbanization. Furthermore, most of the technological advancements in the past few years have focused on making the life of humans easier. This has resulted in the growing prevalence of obesity among both children and adults all across the globe, as they are less frequently engaging in physical activities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as an excessive and abnormal accumulation of fat, which eventually poses a risk to health. “Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975…In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these, over 650 million were obese”, says the WHO. Diabetes is one of the critical complications of obesity, and therefore, the surging prevalence of obesity is resulting in the rapid growth of the global insulin delivery device market.
Diabetes: Facts and Figures
Of course, the primary factor resulting in the growing demand for insulin delivery devices is the rapidly increasing prevalence of diabetes. As per the WHO, the number of people who have diabetes increased to 422 million in 2014 from 108 million in 1980. In addition to this, about 1.6 million deaths in 2016 were caused directly due to diabetes in 2016, the WHO adds. The chronic disease, characterized by elevated blood glucose or blood sugar levels, can cause severe damage to the blood vessels, eyes, nerves, and kidneys over time.
The human body needs insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, for initiating the absorption of glucose by the liver, skeletal muscles, and fat, so that the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates can be regulated. This process is eventually responsible for providing the body with energy. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin or when the body is unable to utilize the produced insulin. This leads to high glucose levels, which further causes damage to organs and tissues over a long period.
The Three Major Types of Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes: While a person can be affected by this disease at any age, it affects adolescents and children most frequently. If a person has type 1 diabetes, their body is producing little or no insulin. The condition can be maintained by taking daily insulin injections for managing the blood sugar levels.
- Type 2 diabetes: This is the most common type of diabetes, and if a person is suffering from this disease, it means that their body is not making efficient use of the produced insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be managed by making specific lifestyle changes, such as incorporating a healthy diet and physical activity in the daily routine. Over time, most afflicted people may need insulin and oral drugs to control their blood glucose levels.
- Gestational diabetes: This type of diabetes affects pregnant women who have high blood sugar. While the condition disappears after pregnancy, the affected woman and her children are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Management: One Problem, Various Solutions
It can be noticed that most people who have diabetes need to administer insulin for maintaining their blood sugar levels, which is why the demand for insulin delivery devices is increasing. There are three significant types of insulin delivery devices:
- Pens: These pens look similar to large ink pens, making them convenient to use and carry insulin in. The user has to remove the cap of the pen and attach a needle, after which the pen needs to be primed to make sure that the right amount of dose is dialed. Priming also ensures that insulin flows appropriately through the pen and that there’s no air in the needle or cartridge.
- Pumps: Insulin pumps are majorly used by people affected by type 1 diabetes; however, these devices are also becoming a preferred choice among people with type 2 diabetes. Insulin pumps are about the size of a cell phone, and they can be clipped onto the waistband of pants or placed in pockets. These devices administer insulin at a slow and continuous rate, along with supplemental doses before meals, for correcting high blood glucose.
- Syringes: This is the most common method of insulin administration, particularly in the U.S. Medical syringes are disposable, small, and have fine needles that are specially coated, thereby making injecting relatively painless and easy.
The demand for insulin pens is expected to be the highest because they are convenient to use. The adoption of insulin pumps is also predicted to grow considerably in the years to come. On the other hand, syringes, though the conventionally used method, are losing out on popularity, as they are slightly more invasive than pens and pumps and carry a higher risk of an air embolus being sucked into the blood vessel, which can lead to death, in extreme cases.
Demand for Insulin Delivery Devices Rising around the World
The demand for insulin delivery devices has been the highest in North America until now, which can be ascribed to the surging number of people who have diabetes, rising prevalence of obesity, and growing geriatric population. These factors are also responsible for the increasing demand for insulin delivery devices in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Plus, with the healthcare infrastructure advancing in developing countries, diabetes is being diagnosed sooner, raising the usage of insulin delivery devices. Also, people here are increasingly becoming aware of diabetes management, which is further pushing up the demand for these instruments.
Thus, as diabetes gets a stronger grip on humanity, people will continuously look for ways to keep this common yet menacing disease from taking an ugly form. Artificial insulin administration has proven to be an effective way.
Pramod Kumar has around seven years of experience in market research and consulting services for the healthcare industry. He holds varied expertise in market sizing and forecasting with various models, competition landscape, consumer behavior analysis, opportunity analysis, product/company benchmarking, data mining, and others.
He has successfully delivered multiple projects on go-to-market strategies, pricing strategy, price point analysis, Business Expansion, market-entry, exit, share analysis, and others. Before joining P&S Intelligence, he worked with different research companies, including Transparency Market Research and MarketsandMarkets Pvt Ltd.
Source: P&S Intelligence