Medical Device Cleaning

With the increase in people travelling to different countries in search of better medical treatment, the risk of contracting diseases has increased. The risk of increases in the incidence of hospital acquired infections has led to the growth of the medical cleaning industry, making it a lucrative market to invest in.  

Medical device cleaning has gained a lot of importance, the reason being the need to deliver better health care and to reduce the risks of hospital acquired infections (HIA). Whether the devices are disposable or reusable, cleaning the devices before and after (in the case of reusable devices) is crucial, and this gave rising importance to the medical cleaning industry. The industry is expected to reach USD 2,583.2 million by 2025. With a lot of resources and market reach to tap into, the industry has grabbed the attention of investors. 

Factors influencing the growth of the industry:
1. The ongoing pandemic which requires the usage of clean devices to curb the spread
2. Demands of the users to meet the recent developments in technology
3. Increasing focus to avoid Hospital Acquired Infections 
4. Growing economies offering a lot of growth potential

The medical device cleaning industry is divided into segments based on its application, procedure/ technique, process, end users and other parameters. These segments within the industry have different growth rates, based on the quality and resources it uses. These differences also give a lot of scope to the users when it comes to choosing one, the choice being dictated by their investment and position in the market.

The different segments within the industry: 
1) Based on the process
a) Pre-soak
b) Automatic cleaning
c) Manual cleaning 
d) Disinfection 
2) Based on the technique
a) Disinfection
b) Cleaning
c) Sterilization
3) Based on device types 
a) Non-critical
b) Semi critical
c) Critical
4) Based on end-users
5) Based on geography

Based on the process:
Based on the processes of cleaning the medical devices, the market is segmented into pre-soak, automatic cleaning and manual cleaning. In these segments, automatic cleaning is expected to have a better CGPA compared to other segments. Automatic cleaning offers better performance, minimizes the usage of detergent, reduces the time consumed and eventually the cost.

Based on the technique:
Disinfection dominates this segment. This step is performed before and after the usage of all the equipment in order to facilitate the reuse of equipment in the hospitals. Due to the shortage of equipment during the pandemic disinfecting the equipment has gained its importance. 

Based on device types:
Infections associated with health care has compromised the safety of the patients. These infections were responsible for a lot of deaths across the world, the increase of usage of semi-critical equipment being the reason. This lead to the rise in demand for cleaning the equipment, which helps in reducing the contamination and cross contamination. Due to this, cleaning semi-critical equipment dominates this segment.

Based on the end-users:
Hospitals are the largest users of these services. A lot of patients prefer hospitals over any other health care sectors, as a result of which hospitals have become the largest consumers of the services provided by the industry. 

Based on geography:
The United States of America and Canada were the largest markets in this industry in the previous year (2019). The increase in medical expenditure due to Hospital Acquired Infections, the industry seized the opportunity to establish itself in these countries. The threat from the fast-spreading novel Coronavirus is another factor that contributes to the growth in these regions, manufacturing sterilizers and disinfectants being of the utmost importance. Europe and the Asia Pacific (APAC) rank 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The Asia Pacific region has a potential for growth in the CGPA due to its high population and an increase in medical tourism. 

Although the industry has a great scope for investment and the returns, a few companies dominate the market. Based on the geography and the market reach, Steris plc (US), Ecolab Inc (US) and Metrex Research, LLC (US) are among the key players. Pharmax Ltd (Canada) and G9 Chemicals (UK) are one of the best performers in their respective markets. 

Prospects for growth:

Apart from the key players and significant influencers in the market, there are several other companies that are performing well in the market. This effectively proves that the scope of growth in the market is very high, at least for the next few years. While that sheds a positive light on the scenario, it is vital to notice that the presence of so many service providers in the market leads to a price war. The resources that can be utilized, the knowledge that can be accessed and the experience that can be tapped into giving a lot of boost to the current players to perform well while inviting the new markets to invest in it. Despite the fact that North America is the largest market, India and China have the potential to contribute the most to the CAGR. The rising population, increase in medical tourism, and the development of technology places these growing economies as impactful contributors to the industry. While automatic cleaning dominates the sector, manual cleaning can maintain its position in the market because of its invaluable contribution in cleaning the blood and other infections, causing particles from most of the equipment. And the hospitals are the largest consumers of the services, but physicians contributed to more than 20% of the market in 2019. So, the demand for these services is very well established in these users too. 

The revenue of medical device cleaning industry is expected to grow more than 7% CAGR (Compound annual growth rate). With various segments within the sector, surgical instrument segment (based on application), automatic cleaning (based on process), hospitals as the end users and North America as the largest market (according to the data collected in 2019) are expected to contribute the most toward the growth in CAGR. The importance of this industry in the current scenario and its contribution to a better future makes it key players in the health sector and the services offered by it and the growth that the other sectors provide to this market make them interdependent.