Along with new laboratory instruments, the demand for refurbished medical devices is increasing at a fast pace. A report from Markets and Markets predicts that the global refurbished medical equipment market is expected to reach $9.37 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 12.5% from 2014 to 2019. The region-wise analysis indicates that North America holds the largest share of the market followed by Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, which is expected to record the highest CAGR of ~13.7% from 2014 to 2019.
According to the report titled "Refurbished Medical Equipment Market (Ultrasound, MRI, CT Scanner, C-Arm, Nuclear Imaging Systems, Heart-Lung Machines, Surgical, CO2 Monitor, Patient Monitor, Pulse Oximeter, AED Defibrillator, Cath Labs, Stretchers, Endoscopy) – Global Forecasts to 2019", several factors are driving the demand for refurbished devices. These include the growing demand for low-cost medical devices due to financial constraints, increasing privatization in the healthcare sector, and the rising adoption of refurbished medical devices in emerging markets such as India, Brazil, and Mexico. In these countires, the demand for used equipment is high due to rising trend of medical tourism, huge population base, and increasing privatization of the healthcare sector.
Based on products, the market is divided into eleven major segments
- Operating room and surgical equipment
- Patient monitors
- Medical imaging equipment
- Cardiovascular and cardiology equipment
- IV therapy systems
- Neurology equipment
- Endoscopy equipment
- Intensive care units
- Neonatal intensive care units
- Other medical equipment
Leading manufacturers include Agito Medical A/S (Denmark), Block Imaging International, Inc. (U.S.), DRE, Inc. (U.S.), EverxPvt Ltd. (Australia), GE Healthcare (U.K.), Integrity Medical Systems, Inc. (U.S.), Philips Healthcare (Netherlands), Radiology Oncology Systems, Inc. (U.S.), Siemens Healthcare (Germany), and Soma Technology, Inc. (U.S.).
The report also indicates that several factors hamper the growth of this market include – the negative outlook of public institutes regarding the purchase of used medical equipment, and lack of standardization and harmonization of policies related to the sale and use of these devices.
Clinical laboratories should take care to purchase recertified equipment from reliable suppliers. Reputable vendors of lab equipment acquire used devices and put them through rigorous refurbishment processes to ensure that they meet original manufacturer specifications. The equipment may be disassembled and repaired, and parts replaced if necessary. They also offer these devices at competitive devices, allowing laboratories with budget constraints to improve productivity and provide accurate and timely test results.