According to the report, stepped-up efforts by medical providers to reduce the incidence and mortality of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) will underlie growth. Hospitals and other healthcare establishments are adopting stricter standards involving patient and staff hygiene and protection, facility cleaning and disinfection, device and instrument sterilization, and medical waste collection and disposal. Each of these applications will continue to form an attractive, growing niche within the medical supply market.
The need for improved infection prevention strategies also extends to the life sciences sector, according to the report. Stricter FDA standards for product quality control and quality assurance are forcing pharmaceutical and medical device producers to upgrade and expand sterilization and disinfection systems. Additionally, the increasing use of biotechnology-derived microorganisms in investigative and testing procedures is broadening the infection prevention requirements of life science research and medical diagnostic concerns.
Disinfectants consumed by healthcare and life science facilities will register demand of nearly $2 billion in 2015, up 4.9 percent annually from 2010. Growth will benefit from stepped up pressures on healthcare facilities to upgrade staff hygiene and facility disinfection practices to defend against HAIs such as MRSA, VRE and C. diff. Disinfectant use in life science facilities will expand as production systems and research and diagnostic investigations become increasingly complex and more vulnerable to microbial contamination. However, as in the case of protective apparel and textiles, multiple supplier availability and limited pricing flexibility will hold down overall growth opportunities for this product group.
Compliance with stricter infection prevention and control safeguards by the healthcare and life science communities will create average or better growth opportunities for medical waste disposal supplies. By contrast, the market for sterilization and other infection prevention equipment will expand at a slow pace due to maturing end-use markets, and retrofitted machinery.
Demand for infection prevention services will see above average growth based on the convenience, cost efficiency and regulatory compliance advantages offered to healthcare and life science facilities. Demand for protective apparel and textiles—including surgical drapes and gowns, medical and laboratory gloves, face masks and staff apparel, will expand at a below average pace due to trends toward less invasive patient procedures and limited pricing flexibility.
The market for safety-enhanced devices, especially IV and urinary catheters and syringes, will grow faster based on stricter OSHA standards aimed at preventing accidental needlesticks and extended health insurance coverage for urinary catheters. Studies indicate that more than half of HAIs and 90 percent of related mortality and nearly all accidental needlesticks could be prevented if hospitals and other health care facilities implemented integrated infection prevention strategies advocated by government and private medical groups.