The growing popularity of Minimally Invasive Surgeries (MIS) is leading to an increased adoption of endoscopy devices, according to a new report by health care market researcher GBI Research.

An increase in MIS is correlated with lower incidence of post-operative complications, minimal scarring and shorter hospital stays, which collectively act to improve surgery experiences both for hospitals and for the patient.

Recent retrospective data analysis carried out by Covidien claimed that compared to open surgeries, laparoscopic surgeries were associated with reduced risks of surgical site infection and a reduced need of blood transfusions. On average, an open surgery is $3,556 more expensive per case than a laparoscopic procedure and adds 2.25 days to the patient’s duration of hospitalization.

Endoscopy devices are also used to diagnose of gastrointestinal tract (GI) disorders. Capsule endoscope systems are now considered superior to conventional diagnostic procedures such as small bowel follow-through (SBFT), computed tomography enterography (CET) and ileoscopy.

GBI reports that an increase in health screenings and public awareness about colorectal cancer and related conditions have led to increased demand for colonoscopies, which are now eligible for reimbursement from Medicare and private payers. Colonoscopy is now the standard procedure for colorectal cancer (CRC). A World Health Organization study reported that colonoscopy screening procedures carried out from 2000– 2010 were responsible for a 77 percent reduced risk of CRC, due to early detection and removal of precancerous polyps in the colon. Nearly 60 percent of the eligible population of the U.S. has undergone CRC screening, largely due to the availability of reimbursement.

According to Jim Roselius, Vision Systems Group Manager for Panasonic System Communications, policy changes will drive the market for endoscopic devices – and the technology that makes viewing during procedures possible. “The act also includes incentives to increase hospital efforts to get medical images, especially endoscopic video, into the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) so there is another opportunity for additional devices and equipment. We believe the Affordable Care Act will ultimately lead to the implementation of newer technologies to increase efficiencies and the overall quality of surgical procedures.”

Roselius says Philips also expects growth in the market for high-end video technologies that accompany endoscopy procedures. Users value higher resolution and high definition systems, Roselius says, because sharper image quality means a more accurate view and better focus. Roselius expects 3D technologies to increase in popularity for similar reasons: “Since clinicians work in a 3D space on a patient, yet typically use standard 2D monitors, they usually have to interpret nonstereo depth cues available to feel the third dimension while performing surgeries. But with the advent of 3D imaging technologies in the endoscopy market, clinicians can better interpret those depth cues.”

Nearly 1.5 million MIS procedures are performed in the U.S annually, according to EndoEvolution, a medical device company. With increasing numbers of procedures, as well as advances in technology, GBI predicts that the global endoscopy devices market will reach nearly $6 billion by 2018.