Continence is the ability to voluntarily control emptying the bladder and bowels effectively in a hygienic way while ‘Incontinence’ is the unwanted and involuntary leakage of urine or stool. Incontinence is estimated to affect approximately 400 million people globally. Continence issues can arise due to spinal cord injuries, birth defects, multiple sclerosis, or aging-related disorders including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). To address these concerns, continence care products are widely used across medical facilities and they form an integral part of hospital & continued care in home settings for patients. It includes products such as intermittent catheters, external/Foley catheters, urine bags, and products for bowel management (colostomy bags, nerve modulation devices, irrigation systems & other accessories).
Intermittent Catheters are Expected to Continue Its Dominance in the Global Continence Care Market
Intermittent catheterization is the use of a single-use catheter to drain the bladder on a regular or semi-regular basis. It is widely used over other forms of catheterization as it offers the following advantages:
- Increased Autonomy: The patient is not required to wear the catheter constantly but only at regular intervals when emptying the bladder. It simulates natural voiding and can also be used at home and workplaces.
- Reduced Risk of Infections: Since the time the catheter is inside the body is less in case of intermittent catheterization, it reduces the chances of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and other infections.
- Reduced Complications: Intermittent catheters are removed at regular intervals and hence do not get encrusted. In scenarios where it gets blocked, it can be easily removed and replaced with a new one.
- Inexpensive & Promotes Independence: Intermittent catheters are inexpensive and allow patients to gain control of their bladder and care for themselves. Their usage promotes independence & improves the quality of life.
“Intermittent catheters segment is differentiated with users preferring products proven to lower risk of infections & having greater ease-of-use. Patients typically use 3-4 intermittent catheters a day; often for many years/lifetime. Because of its advantages, it is likely to continue to hold a major share in the coming years."-Director, Leading Continence Care Device Manufacturer, United States
The Trend of Forward Integration – A Key Winning Strategy
The leading players operating in the continence care market are increasingly buying distributors/wholesalers to have deep-rooted penetration in key markets. The control of distribution channels provides prominent players more ability to increase their market shares even though the regulation requires distributors to carry competing products.
- Over the years, Convatec entered into several mergers and acquisitions [Southlake Medical USA (2019), J&R Medical USA (2018), Woodbury Holding USA (2017)] in the continence care market to establish its foothold in the market.
- Similarly, in 2018, Coloplast acquired IncoCare Gunhild Vieler GmbH to further strengthen its position in the German market. IncoCare is a privately owned, German direct-to-consumer homecare company with regional distribution of primarily continence supplies.
Digital Patient Engagement – An Important Customer Acquisition Strategy
The leading players operating in the continence care market are investing in various service platforms/programs and patient support apps to retain existing customers and encourage users to upgrade to newer devices/platforms. Programs offer patients educational tools, access to nurses, advice on products & ability to capture/compare data. Key players such as Convatec & Coloplast have launched comprehensive patient support/nursing staff/apps to ensure strong patient engagement.
The Coloplast® Care program offers:
- Dedicated Care Advisor to assist patients with their product and lifestyle, education, and support.
- Product samples and tools to assist patients in their transition to using intermittent catheters or ostomy products.
- Assists patients in finding the right supplier for the product and insurance needs.
- Patients get monthly wellness education addressing lifestyle issues.
Similarly, Convatec offers me+ Program for Continence Care which offers several benefits:
- A team of WOC (Wound, ostomy, and continence) nurses and product specialists are available by phone or email to answer questions and offer advice.
- Personalized product sampling help to ensure patients are using the best product as per their cathing needs.
- me+ answers, an in-depth online resource for all patient cathing questions.
- me+ community, highlights real stories and experiences from intermittent catheter users.
Technological Advancements are Driving the Continence Care Market Growth
The global continence care market is technology-driven and is marked by consistent product advancements and innovations.
- In January 2022, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory launched Actreen, an intermittent urological catheter. It is a single-use catheter that can be used during self-catheterization in people who have lost the urge to urinate or who usually have difficulty urinating. The surface of the catheter is coated with a hydrophilic lubricant, which can be used immediately after opening, and also contains a product with an integrated urine collection bag that can be used according to the patient's condition.
- In March 2021, Hollister launched the Infyna Chic™ intermittent catheter, the latest in the firm's line of hydrophilic catheter products, in US.
Organic and Inorganic Growth Strategies Adopted by the Leading Market Players to Establish Their Foothold in the Global Continence Care Market
The global continence care market is marked by the presence of both established and new players. Key players operating in the continence care market are adopting both organic and inorganic growth strategies such as partnerships, acquisitions, and new product launches to garner a higher market share.
- In June 2022, Hollister was awarded a three-year group purchasing agreement for Urological products with Vizient, Inc., the nation’s largest member-driven health care performance improvement company. The agreement allows Vizient members increased access through negotiated pricing to the full portfolio of the Hollister Incorporated Urological products, including its VaPro™ hydrophilic catheters.
- In February 2021, Minnesota Medical Technologies Corporation and Wellspect entered into an agreement for the distribution of Minnesota Medical's fecal incontinence insert throughout Europe.
Competitive Landscape Analysis: Continence Care Market
The global continence care market is marked by the presence of established market players such as Coloplast, Wellspect, Bard/BD, Hollister, Convatec, Teleflex, B. Braun, UROMED, Renew Medical, VitalCare.
The global continence care market is poised to witness a healthy growth in the upcoming years due to the aging population, penetration potential of intermittent catheters (ICs), improving access to healthcare in emerging markets, expanding middle-class population, better awareness & healthcare coverage, and growing cases of incontinence.
Key Strategic Questions Addressed
- What is the market size & forecast of the continence care market?
- What are the historical, present, and forecasted market shares and growth rates of various segments and sub-segments of the Continence Care Market?
- What are the key trends defining the continence care market?
- What are the major factors impacting the continence care market?
- What are the opportunities prevailing in the continence care market?
- Which region has the highest share in the global market? Which region is expected to witness the highest growth rate in the next 5 years?
- Who are the major players operating in the continence care market?
- What are the key strategies adopted by players operating in continence care market?
The study has been compiled based on the extensive primary and secondary research.
Secondary Research (Indicative List)
To validate research findings (market size & forecasts, market segmentation, market dynamics, competitive landscape, key industry trends, etc.), extensive primary interviews were conducted with both supply and demand side stakeholders.
Supply Side Stakeholders:
- Senior Management Level: CEOs, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Directors, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Commercial Officers
- Mid-Management Level: Product Managers, Sales Managers, Brand Managers, R&D Managers, Business Development Managers, Consultants
Demand Side Stakeholders:
- Stakeholders in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Homecare, among others.
Breakdown of Primary Interviews
Market Size Estimation
The market size was derived based on extensive secondary research further validated through expert interviews.
Research findings derived through secondary sources & internal analysis were validated with primary interviews and an internal knowledge repository.