Reprocessing of medical devices refers to the process of cleaning, sterilizing, labeling, testing, and packaging used and expired medical devices such that the devices become suitable and safe for clinical applications. Reprocessing is only done for medical devices that are undamaged. Reprocessing of medical devices is done with the aim to reduce hospital supply costs. It is often found that hospitals compromise upon the safety of patients in terms of equipment safety. Reprocessing of medical devices is an attempt to eliminate such compromises and increase the patient’s safety.
Reprocessing of medical devices has been done by hospitals staff since ages. The problem with this kind of reprocessing is that it is done without any proper guidelines and regulations. FDA reprocessing guidelines for reprocessed medical devices were thus introduced and are now adopted across the globe. Therefore, most healthcare facilities and hospitals today do not sterilize or reprocess medical devices market themselves, but outsource it to third-party service providers.
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Increasing Adoption of Reprocessed Devices Fueling Reprocessed Medical Devices Market
The increasing adoption of reprocessed devices is fueling the market for reprocessed medical devices. The high cost savings of healthcare facilities and hospitals due to reprocessing old medical devices are the primary growth driver of the global reprocessed medical devices market. Moreover, the growing pressure and awareness of reducing medical waste has also contributed to the market’s growth.
The increasing financial pressure on healthcare facilities and hospitals is expected to continue to promote the market for reprocessed medical devices. However, the negative perception among the people regarding the safety and quality of reprocessed medical devices could impede the market’s growth. Low awareness about the safety of reprocessed devices is also another factor that may affect the market adversely.
Cardiovascular Device Segment to lead the Reprocessed Medical Devices Market
The market for reprocessed medical devices is classified on the basis of type into cardiovascular devices, orthopedic devices, general surgery devices, gastroenterology devices, and laparoscopic devices. Among these, cardiovascular devices have been further classified into diagnostic electrophysiology catheters, blood pressure cuffs/tourniquet cuffs, electrophysiology cables, positioning devices, and cardiac stabilization. Balloon inflation devices and infusion pressure bags are the subcategories of general surgery devices, and endoscopic trocars and components and harmonic scalpel are the sub-segments of laparoscopic devices. Orthopedic or arthroscopic medical devices are segmented into external fixation devices, and the gastroenterology medical devices segment is sub-segmented into biopsy forceps.
Among these major segments, the cardiovascular medical devices segment is anticipated to witness the highest growth rate during the period from 2014 to 2020. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the reduction in the prices of these products, high usage or adoption of reprocessed cardiovascular devices, and increasing pressure among hospitals to cut down on healthcare expenditure. Moreover, the growing awareness among people about protecting the environment is also likely to contribute to the growth of the segment, as reprocessed medical devices reduce the amount of medical waste that is dumped in landfills and other dumping grounds.
North America Dominates the Global Reprocessed Medical Devices Market
Geographically, the global reprocessed medical devices market has been segmented into four major regions. These regions are: Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW.) Owing to the high rate of adoption of reprocessed medical devices by healthcare facilities, the government incentives, and regulatory policies, the global medical devices market is led by North America. European market for reprocessed medical devices is also set to grow due to the growing awareness among the people as well as a pressure to control the skyrocketing prices of operations.
Key market players leading the global reprocessed medical devices market include: Hygia Health Services, Inc., ReNu Medical, Inc., Medline ReNewal, MidWest Reprocessing Center, Centurion Medical Products Corporation, SterilMed, Inc., Stryker Sustainability Solutions, Inc., VANGUARD AG, and SureTek Medical.