As surgical procedures continue to become more specialized, so does the centerpiece of the operating room: the operating table. Demand for specialized operating tables made for complex procedures is the primary driver of innovation and growth in the market for operating room equipment, according to a report by the medical market researcher GlobalData.

Specialized operating tables allow surgeons to safely perform surgeries that require specific patient positioning. For example, some specialized hip replacement tables come equipped with wheeled boots to hold and maneuver the patient’s legs, allowing them to be gently twisted to give the surgeon direct access to the relevant part of the hip.

The total world operating room equipment market was valued at $770.6 million in 2010 and is forecast to grow 3.6 percent per year to reach $989.6 million in 2017.

Troy Joncas, owner of Surgical Tables, Inc., says the trend toward minimally invasive surgery will show in the market for surgical tables, as manufacturers begin to focus on tables that can accommodate X-ray guidance and other special requirements of those procedures. For example, Surgical Tables, Inc., has a vascular C-arm table with a floating mechanism that allows the surgeon to move the table without moving the C-arm. Additionally, Joncas says, “Because of minimally invasive procedures, medical specialties that were once hospital-based are moving to outpatient settings.”

“The rising number of surgical procedures is creating an urgent demand for technologically advanced operating room equipment,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Akanksha Joshi. “The need to ensure enhanced hygiene, infection control and safety is also fuelling market growth.”

Operating rooms are the revenue generating space for hospitals. As a result, hospitals are seeking state-of-the-art operating theaters that will support optimized performance and efficiency.

Safety concerns are at an all time high, with infection control emerging as a major issue in operating rooms. The rising awareness about the need to minimize human errors and promote the effective management of operating rooms is pushing the uptake of innovative and advanced operating room solutions.

The total world operating room equipment market was valued at $770.6 million in 2010 and is forecast to grow 3.6 percent per year to reach $989.6 million in 2017, according to GlobalData’s “Operating Room Equipment Global Opportunity Assessment, Competitive Landscape and Market Forecasts to 2017.” The market researcher predicts an increase in the number of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), growth in medical tourism in emerging economies, decreasing material costs and technological innovations to drive the market.

The market for operating room equipment in the U.S. was valued at $288.8 million in 2010. GlobalData predicts annual growth of 3.9 percent – a slightly higher rate than predicted in the world market. According to those figures, the market will reach a value of $377.2 million in 2017, driven by an increasing demand for both specialized operating tables and hybrid operating rooms.

In 2010, Getinge, STERIS, TRUMPF, Skytron and BERCHTOLD were the top five players in the global operating room equipment market, with a combined market share of 64 percent, according to GlobalData.