Will EU Hospitals Really Move from Single-Use to Reusable Procedure Trays?

Hot on the heels of our coverage of the issue of reprocessing medical devices, specifically the call for adoption of aided visual inspection, comes news from market intelligensters, Frost and Sullivan, that so-called Custom Procedure Trays and Packs (CPTPs) are gaining traction.


Having read Frost and Sullivan’s press release, we’re scratching our heads as to what it’s really saying. Somehow they’ve come up with some numbers to support the claim that CPTPs are seeing revenues that are growing rapidly and likely to top $1 billion any day soon. They cite increasing procedure volumes, coupled with an ageing population and its demand for more chronic wound treatment as the drivers for healthcare providers to be turning away from single use items and on to these pre-assembled kits and packs, which can be unwrapped and found ready to use. These presumably include blades, sutures, syringes and whatever else someone has said is needed for the specific procedure in question, but seemingly also now include re-usable components like manual instrumentation.

Frost and Sullivan’s study covers surgical and minor procedure trays and packs and claims that use of CPTPs offers off-the-shelf convenience to hospitals, lower costs, and lead to more efficient operating rooms (ORs) with faster turnaround times between operations. Additionally, these products enable inventory reduction, easy storage, and simplified delivery schedules.

More significantly perhaps, they suggest that as hospitals try to get greener, the future will see an emphasis on reusable and reprocessable kits rather than single-use or disposable kits. They therefore reckon that companies offering comprehensive CPTP services as well as reprocessing and “serialization” (really? surely sterilization chaps) services will be in the best position to acquire new customers.

Then, as typical for these rather faux-balanced affairs, they point to certain challenges they reckon will continue to trouble market participants in Western and Eastern Europe. These include the lack of standard regulations mandating the adoption of procedure packs will curtail usage rates, together with new entrants’ tendency to undercut prices to strengthen their foothold in the market. That, they say, will create pricing pressures and dampen overall market revenues.

So what do you think, whether you’re in the industry or a medical professional or otherwise work in healthcare provision? These procedure packs have always been there, but often blighted by the inclusion of poor quality componentry. We really cannot see adoption going beyond a core of procedures, for which they are undoubtedly a boon, reducing the amount of logistical effort required by the provider. But when so many procedures require so many truly case-specific and physician-specified kit requirements, the self-limiting nature of a move to providing kits for everything is obvious.

And then, reverting to that other story, there remains the issue of reprocessing when these kits include re-usable tools.

Report-Writer Comments

“In Western and Eastern Europe, single-use CPTP have particularly gained traction due to the stricter enforcement of infection-control measures within the hospital environment,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Senior Research Analyst Parthasarathy Raghava. “For hospitals in these regions, these kits have been a natural choice as they ensure both compliance with safety standards and control over nosocomial and iatrogenic infections in the OR.

“To remain competitive, market participants in Western and Eastern Europe will have to find a sweet spot between customizing trays and packs according to end-user preferences and standardizing these products to control costs,” noted Raghava. “Perhaps, standardizing only basic commodity items in packs is an appropriate starting point for CPTP providers to achieve these ends.”

Source: PR Newswire

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