“We are pleased to report that the hearing technology market has ended 2017/18 in a strong position and we expect to see continued growth in the new fiscal year ahead.”

– Paul Surridge, the BIHIMA chairman


The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) regularly monitors the trends in the UK and Irish market and has released the combined Q4 2017/2018 results showing the unit sales of its member companies.

The results show that the NHS market in the UK is up from 337,228 in Q3, to 388,754 units sold in Q4. The growth for the full year was 3.7% for 2017 compared to 2016.

Meanwhile, the private market in the UK has recently slowed slightly from 79,627 in Q3 to 79,110 in Q4, but the growth for 2017 as a whole still holds strong at 4%. The Irish market also declined slightly in the final quarter, down from 14,539 units distributed in Q3 to 13,637 in Q4.

BIHIMA also tracks the trends in the types of technology being selected by patients in the private sector. The Q4 results demonstrate the continued decline of BTE (behind the ear) technology, down at 4.2% of the market share, compared to the RITE (receiver in the ear) style which now accounts for 68.4% of units sold privately.