Dirty endoscopes made headlines in 2015 for all the wrong reasons. These helpful medical devices become problematic when they are not cleaned properly or completely.

A series of fatal Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections that attracted national media attention in 2014 and 2015 – combined with ECRI Institute’s studies into endoscope cleaning and disinfection practices — prompted ECRI safety engineers to elevate flexible endoscope reprocessing to the top of the organization’s 2016 list of hazards. This year’s top hazard specifically addresses the need to adequately clean flexible endoscopes before disinfection to help prevent the spread of deadly pathogens.

The focus on endoscopes caused by bad news the past two years is expected to help fuel the growth of the endoscope reprocessing and cleaners market in the future.

A report from the market research firm MarketsandMarkets predicts significant growth in the endoscope reprocessing and cleaners market.

The MarketsandMarkets report “Infection Control Market by Disinfection (Endoscope Reprocessing, Disinfectant, Disinfector, Surgical Drapes, Gowns, Disinfectant Wipes, Face Mask), Sterilization (Moist Heat, Dry Heat, Ethylene Oxide, E-beam, Contract Services) – Global Forecast to 2020” forecasts that the global infection control market is estimated to reach $16.7 billion by 2020, growing at a compiound annual growth rate of 6.7 percent during the forecast period (2015 to 2020).

The report lists hospital-acquired infections among the reasons for the growth of this market.

“The infection control market witnessed healthy growth in the last decade owing to rising aging population and prevalence of chronic diseases, an increase in the number of surgeries performed, and the rising occurrence of hospital-acquired infections,” according to MarketsandMarkets. “However, stringent regulations and saturation in developed economies will restrict the growth of the market to a certain extent.”

“However, endoscope reprocessors is the fastest growing segment in the disinfection technologies market during the forecast period,” according to MarketsandMarkets. “This market is expected to grow at a highest CAGR of 9 to 10 percent during the forecast period. Growing importance of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures and increasing number of minimally invasive surgeries across the globe are some of the key factors contributing to the growth of this market.”

The entire endoscopy market is also expected to grow in coming years thus propelling the reprocessing and cleaners segment of the market.

According to a market report published by Transparency Market Research, “Endoscopy Devices Market (Endoscopes, Endoscopic Operative Devices, and Visualization Systems) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013-2019,” the global endoscopy devices market was valued at $24.9 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8 percent from 2013 to 2019, to reach an estimated value of $36.9 billion in 2019.

On the basis of end user, the infection control market is segmented into hospitals, life sciences, medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies, food industry, and others, according to MarketsandMarkets.

“In 2014, the hospitals segment accounted for the largest share of the infection control market, whereas the medical device companies segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2015 to 2020,” according to the research firm’s report.