Reprocessing has always been an important part of the medical device life cycle, in both developed and emerging nations across the world. Reprocessing of medical devices is a method of cleaning, disinfecting, testing, remanufacturing, sterilizing and packaging as well as labeling of a used, expired and undamaged medical device to make it patient-ready at a much-reduced cost. It has been observed that reprocessing of medical devices in emerging nations is solely aimed at reducing hospital supply costs, which often compromise with the safety of patients.
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Various research publications related to the medical devices market suggest that until a decade back, medical device reprocessing was mostly performed by hospital staffs within a hospital setting, and without any proper regulations and guidelines. However, with the introduction of FDA reprocessing guidelines, medical device reprocessing is being adopted gradually across the globe. Hence, at present, most hospitals and healthcare facilities outsource medical device reprocessing to qualified third party service providers.
Increasing Demand for Cost Cutting Measures Drives Reprocessed Medical Devices Market
The prime driver for the global reprocessed medical devices market is the rising demand for cost cutting measures in the healthcare sector in developed economies. Despite the rising expenditure on healthcare by consumers in developed economies, the refurbished medical devices market represents a smart economic option, as it allows for widespread adoption of advanced medical technology. While reprocessing of medical devices has always been a standard practice in the healthcare sector, the use of modern tools in the processes has made it even more important to the healthcare sector, as the safety and reliability of the devices has improved considerably.
However, the negative perception attached to the tag of “refurbished” has continued to haunt the refurbished medical devices market. Increasingly strict regulations concerning medical device safety have also held back the refurbished medical devices market in some regions.
Cardiovascular Devices to Dominate Refurbished Medical Devices Market
By device type, the global refurbished medical devices market is segmented into orthopedic external fixation devices, general surgery medical devices, gastroenterology biopsy forceps, cardiovascular medical devices, and laparoscopic medical devices. Of these, cardiovascular devices are likely to dominate the global refurbished medical devices market in the coming years due to the growing prevalence of cardiovascular complaints in developing regions as well as their widespread prevalence in developed markets such as the U.S.
Accordingly, North America is projected to top the global refurbished medical devices market in the coming years, due primarily to the steady demand from the rapidly advancing healthcare sector in the U.S. The regulatory framework in the U.S. has been largely supportive of the refurbished medical devices market, which is a key driver for the market in the region. North America accounted for 76.8% of the global refurbished medical devices market in 2016 and is likely to retain a similar level of dominance through the 2016-2024 forecast period.