Gait trainers, also known as walking frames are devices that assist patients in maintaining a correct posture while walking, aiding in bearing the weight of the body and also helping in synchronizing the steps during walking. The use of gait trainers is necessitated due to medical conditions such as physical disabilities, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or stroke. The use of a gait trainer allows the recovery by relearning how to walk by practice. There have been major technological advances in the arena of gait trainers and nowadays the use of robotic devices for gait training is not uncommon. In addition, the supportive policies of the governments around the world through which they encourage the rehabilitation of physically disabled individuals through various measures is having a positive effect on the gait trainer market around the world.
Gait trainers are usually quite expensive to buy and there are different types of gait trainers available in the market depending upon the individual needs of the patient and what the trainer or occupational therapists has advised. New products are being introduced in the gait trainer market where emphasis is laid on the light weight of the equipment and also on ease in usability of the equipment.
The main drivers of gait trainer market are an increasing geriatric population and an increase in chronic conditions like cerebral palsy, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes and other physical disabilities. In addition to this, post-surgery rehabilitation also require the use of gait trainers. Also, there are a number of initiatives taken by governments around the world for the individuals with physical disabilities to live an independent and dignified life. This has led to an increasing use of gait trainers in the market. In this context, the expanding healthcare budges in major economies of the world such as North America, China and India are also playing a major part in increasing the use of gait trainers to reduce or nullify the effects of physical disabilities. All these factors are playing a major role in the sustained growth of the gait trainer market in the coming decade. The growing prevalence of conditions such as arthritis is also influencing the increase in the use of gait trainers.
The main restraint affecting the growth of gait trainer market is the high cost of such devices. Most of the equipment used for gait training is costly, as the equipment features a number of features and functionalities. These are depending on the individual needs and condition affecting the patient. However, the high cost of such devices act as a dampener in the use of gait trainers. Such affordability issues affect the consumers in emerging markets like China and India, where a huge disabled population in need of gait trainers resides.
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North America is the most lucrative gait trainer market. The main reasons for this are an increasing geriatric population in this region, a well-developed healthcare system and various technological advancements by investing in research for new gait trainer devices by both the government and private players. The Asia-Pacific region is going to be the fastest growing gait trainer market. A rising population, increased healthcare spending, proactive and supportive government policies and a rise in the disposable income are the reasons for this growth.
The key market players in the gait trainer market include Rifton, Loh Medical, Hocoma, Invacare Corporation and Pride Mobility Products Corporation among others.