Infection control market will be worth US$14bn by 2017

North America is largest regional market, with Asia the growing fastest

The infection control market has seen increased demand for contract sterilisation services as a result of stringent regulatory requirements from agencies such as the AAMI and ISO, according to a new report by Companiesandmarkets.com.

The study, Infection Control Market & Disinfection: Global forecast to 2017, forecasts that the market will be worth US$14bn by 2017.

North America represents the largest regional market of the infection control industry, although Asia is expected to report the strongest growth due to rising awareness of sterilisation, an ageing population, the increased number of hospital operations and the growth in income per capita over the next few years.

The largest players operating in the global sterilisation or infection control market are Getinge (Sweden), Steris (US), Advanced Sterilization Product (US), Belimed (Switzerland), Medivators (US), 3M (US), Cardinal Health (US), Kimberly-Clark (US), Synergy Health (UK), and Sterigenics (US).

There has been a strong shift in the use of low temperature sterilisers such as VHP, hydrogen gas plasma and ozone

Sterilisation in the food and pharmaceutical industries is important for controlling disease and maintaining health and safety procedures and standards. The hand disinfectant market represents the fastest-growing market sector as hands are considered to be the primary cause of cross infection.

In terms of equipment usage, the endoscope reprocessing market is expected to report strong growth over the next few years as minimal invasive surgery procedures become more prevalent.

The disinfectant market is also expected to be influenced by increased use of single-use technology products such as medical non-wovens and face masks.

In terms of sterilisation, there has been a strong shift in the use of low temperature sterilisers such as VHP, hydrogen gas plasma and ozone. By comparison, there has been reduced use of steam sterilisation practices.

With a rise in awareness of food quality and an increase in exports of exotic fruits and vegetables across countries, there has been a rise in food sterilisation and disinfection. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical sterilisation plays a vital role in making drugs safe for patient use. This is mainly done using filtration technologies and gamma irradiation of the pharmaceutical components and powders. The role of sterilisation in medical packaging is also of crucial importance, especially for finished products such as saline bottles, needles and syringes.

The global infection control market is forecast to expand at a steady rate of 6% per annum during the period 2012 to 2017 as hospitals and clinics focus more on controlling cleaning standards and the spread of disease. The increase in hospital-acquired infections has forced the medical authorities to take stringent regulatory actions to curb these infections with the use of sterilised and disinfected medical devices.

The report focuses on sterilisation (heat, chemical, radiation and filtration) and disinfection (disinfectors, endoscope reprocessing, disinfectants, medical non-wovens and disinfectant wipes) technologies.

It also studies the sterilisation services market, which includes healthcare solutions, hospital sterilisation services, and applied sterilisation technologies. The sterilisation applications market includes medical devices, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, food, and other applications such as cosmetics.

The report categorises the global sterilisation market on the basis of technology, services, and applications. The disinfection market is categorised on the basis of various equipment and disposables used.