Medical air compressors are set for 8% compound annual growth through until 2018 as part of an expanding global market for medical gases and related equipment.

According to a report from Transparency Market Research, the segment will be worth $9 billion by 2018, up from $5.3 billion in 2011.

The segment as a whole includes medical air compressors, along with compressor hoses and assemblies, vacuum systems, flow meters, masks and manifolds, outlets, alarm systems, regulators, cylinders and accessories.

In terms of the gases used, there are pure medical gases and mixtures, including oxygen, nitrogen, CO2, helium and nitrous oxide, and combinations of these and other gases.

Many of these gases have particular applications in treating lung disease, and as such much of the market growth is centred on emerging markets like India and China, where pulmonary conditions are occurring with increasing incidence rates.

In India, the Indian Gas Association reports growth in the medical and industrial gases market at between 15 and 18%, more than double the global average.

Asia as a whole is predicted to record an average of 9.2% compound annual growth rate throughout the forecast period.

However, the market globally is segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe and the Rest of the World, with substantial positive growth likely in all geographic regions.

Within the sector, suppliers are using a range of different strategies to prosper in competitive conditions, and to contribute towards this overall growth rate internationally.

For example, some are investing heavily in research and development, and in extensive distribution channels; others are adopting a renewed customer-centric focus in their manufacturing; and some are specialising in catering to key growth areas.

Across the full range of different initiatives, this is helping the medical air compressors and gases market to meet the developing needs of its customer base, not only benefiting the industry in terms of growth, but serving the end-users as well.