Medical electrodes help yield non-invasive tests for various muscular, nervous, ocular, cardiac, and other disorders that may otherwise require surgical means to verify their presence. Also, it has the potential to permit surface quantification of internal ionic currents. As per Inkwood Research, the global medical electrodes market is forecasted to grow with a CAGR of 4.44% during the estimated years, 2022 to 2030.
What are Medical Electrodes used for?
Medical electrodes generally comprise a metal electrode, a lead for conduction of electrical current, as well as an electrode-conducting gel or paste for surface electrodes. In terms of their usability, medical electrodes are classified as disposable and reusable, with the disposable medical electrodes segment capturing the highest revenue share of 84.10% in 2021.
The primary role of the electrode is to offer an ideal electrical contact between the apparatus used to measure or record activity as well as the patient. In essence, medical electrodes transfer the energy of the body’s ionic currents into electrical currents that can be studied, amplified, and utilized to make diagnoses. Moreover, when combined with monitoring systems, they can serve as powerful predictors of several conditions and diseases, thus accelerating their demand in the healthcare industry.
With a significant rise in the global life expectancy level, in addition to the burgeoning population, the number of chronic diseases has witnessed a dramatic rise in the past decade. For example, as per a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), around 17.9 million people died due to cardiovascular diseases in 2019, constituting nearly 32% of global deaths. Furthermore, out of 17 million premature deaths associated with non-communicable diseases, 38% were attributed to cardiovascular diseases.
On the other hand, according to WHO, one of the most common conditions impacting the nervous system is epilepsy, with approximately 50 million people suffering from the neurological disease worldwide. Accordingly, with an exponential rise in population and disease prevalence, the demand for compact, affordable, and effective medical devices, including medical electrodes for disease diagnoses, has significantly grown over recent years. Since disposable electrodes are only used once, they eliminate the risk of cross-contamination between patients, thereby reducing the lengthy process of sterilization and ensuring patient safety.
What are the Different Types of Medical Electrodes?
While the medical industry employs different electrodes across healthcare applications based on their usability, the type of electrode used for measurements primarily depends upon the anatomical location of the bioelectric event to be recorded.
Aligning with this, the different types of medical electrodes include:
Therapeutics Medical Electrodes – Therapeutics medical electrodes offer accurate clinical information by introducing medicines through the skin via ionization. They are used in various medical indications such as nerve stimulation, cardiac rhythm management, and monitoring of glucose, among others.
Market Position: According to our analysis, the therapeutics medical electrodes segment, under the type category, is expected to grow with the highest CAGR of 4.57% during the forecast period. Inkwood Research has further categorized therapeutics medical electrodes into –
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (TENS)
- Electrosurgical electrodes
- Other Therapeutics
Diagnostics Medical Electrodes – Diagnostic medical electrodes are critical for patient monitoring as well as testing methods. With the surging need for preventive medicine, the rise in chronic diseases, and the increasing healthcare awareness, the demand for diagnostics medical electrodes is projected to grow rapidly across the following areas:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) – An electrocardiogram is used to investigate symptoms of a possible cardiac problem, such as chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, and shortness of breath.
- The electrocardiogram segment is expected to dominate the market, with its notable growth primarily accredited to the rising prevalence of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases as well as the increase in smokers.
- Likewise, these factors also play an essential role in positioning cardiology as the leading application over the forecast period.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) – An electroencephalogram helps identify specific irregularities in the brain. Brain wave patterns can be measured and observed with an EEG by positioning up to 20 electrodes upon the patient’s scalp in order to record electrical, ionic waves of neuronal activity.
- Electromyogram (EMG) – It plays a critical role in analyzing the muscular response to electrical activity in innervated muscle. During an EMG, needle electrodes are inserted through the skin into muscle fibers. Moreover, a needle electrode comprises insulated wires, with the tips connected to the muscle, nerves, as well as other tissues from which the measurement is made.
- Electroretinogram (ERG) – An ERG functions with an electrode positioned on the cornea in order to measure the electrical response of cones and retinal rods. The electrodes measure retinal electrical response to light impingement, thus analyzing a possible retinal disorder and whether it may necessitate surgery.
- The electroretinogram segment is set to grow with the highest CAGR of 4.94% between 2022 to 2030.
Market Position: Inkwood Research estimates that the diagnostics medical electrodes segment, under the type category, is set to acquire the largest market share of 51.65% by the end of the forecast period.
Medical Electrodes Market: Future Scope
Medical electrodes are characterized as mass products, and in the majority of cases, represent a sub-segment of medical device manufacturers with minimal scope for product differentiation. This factor makes the global medical electrodes market price sensitive as well as highly competitive in nature. However, current research areas are mainly concentrated on the development of nanotextured coatings and polymers, thus rendering the adoption of compact as well as compatible devices.
For example, the single-use, low-cost TENS Electrode by Pepin Manufacturing Inc (United States) has an extra thick hydrogel for maximum adhesion, a moisture-resistant topcoat, and low impedance. Likewise, Dymedix Diagnostics (United States) has utilized the properties of polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) in order to produce innovative sleep sensor designs.
With accurate waveforms that can transmit, detect, and measure changes in pressure, temperature, and motion, similar efforts are also being established by key players to develop economically priced electrodes possessing superior electrical performance. As a result, these factors are pivotal to the growth of the global medical electrodes market and its robust future potential during the forecasting period.
What is the key difference between surface and needle electrodes?
While surface electrodes measure the potential available directly from the skin’s surface by sensing the signals from the heart, nerves, and brain, needle electrodes are inserted through a section of the skin.
What is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)?
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that utilizes low voltage electrical current for pain relief. Considered a safe treatment for most people, TENS therapy can be used to treat pain occurring due to multiple sclerosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and spinal cord injuries.