By: John Wallace

Health care-acquired infections (HAIs) continue to be a concern in the medical industry. Recent cases involving endoscopes have brought added attention to the endoscope reprocessing and cleaning sector of the overall infection control market.

The popularity of minimally invasive surgery as well as aging populations in the United States and other developed nations are additional reasons market watchers expect growth. Other drivers of the overall market include chronic diseases and the increase in awareness across the globe, especially in Asia.

Advances in medical instruments, specifically endoscopes, are another factor pushing the expansion of the market.

“Sterilization and disinfection are essential components of infection-control procedures. There has been a surge of cleaning standards and mounting pressure for sterilized medical devices and disinfection in hospitals and clinics, which has triggered the growth of the medical sterilization and disinfection market,” according to a recent report description issued by the global market research and consulting company MarketsAndMarkets.com. “With an increase in aging population across the globe and a demand for health care services, change in the health care reimbursement policies is pushing the providers of sterilization and disinfection to improve their operations by providing high-quality service at lower costs. These factors are expected to propel the growth of this market. The overall infection control market will grow at a steady pace of around 6 percent and will reach $14.0 billion by 2017 from $10.5 billion in 2012.”

“With the introduction of technically enhanced instruments in the market like endoscopes and analyzers, there has been an increased need for advanced sterilizers that are compatible with the same,” according to MarketsAndMarkets. “This has brought about a drastic shift from steam sterilizers to low temperature sterilizers with its wide range of technologies such as ethylene oxide (EtO), vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, and ozone gas based sterilization.”

Endoscope reprocessing is an important part of the market.

“In disinfection market, the endoscope reprocessing segment continues to grow due to an increased importance to diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures, rising minimally invasive surgeries and concerns regarding patient-to-patient cross infection caused due to improper endoscopes reprocessing,” according to MarketsAndMarkets.

“The endoscope reprocessing market is anticipated to show healthy growth in the upcoming years due to continued instrument development, and increasing minimally invasive surgery procedures,” according to the report.

MarketsAndMarkets indicates that the major players in the infection control market are Getinge, Steris, Medivators, Advanced Sterilization Product , 3M, Belimed, Cardinal Health, Kimberly-Clark, Sterigenics, Sakura, Synergy Health and Nordion.