According to Allied Market Research, the global medical plastics market is expected to reach $37.2 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.6% from 2020 to 2027. The surge in disposable income and robust investment in healthcare along with increased demand for bioplastics in the medical sector drive the growth of the medical plastics industry.
Polymers offer durability and biocompatibility that make them the perfect candidate for manufacturing medical products and metal replacement. Moreover, single-use medical devices hardly cause healthcare-related infections compared to reusable devices. Polymers have strengthened their place in the healthcare industry with their lightweight and flexibility. Here are a few examples of the application of medical plastics:
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- Electro-medical equipment: several electronic devices including patient-monitoring systems, pacemakers, MRP machines, ultrasonic scanning devices, and diagnostic imaging equipment are examples of medical plastics.
- Surgical and medical devices: Single-use devices such as needles, syringes, and blood transfusion devices and other medical devices such as anesthesia apparatuses, optical diagnostic apparatuses, and catheters are end-users of medical plastic. Apart from this, the increase in demand for artificial joints and limbs, surgical dressings, stents, disposable surgical drapes, surgical kits, and gloves has boosted the growth of the medical plastics market.
- 3D printing application: With the use of 3D printing, patients can get exact body parts to replace the damaged ones. The demand for prosthetic hands, feet, and limbs has surged the need for polymers in the medical sector.
Future of medical plastics:
While the use of medical plastics for surgical devices and medical equipment is widely known, its use for medical packaging has surged over the last few years. The harmful conditions in the supply chain such as heat, cold, and humidity can damage the medical equipment. Thus, medical polymer films are being used for packaging and shielding products from such external exposure. Such applications are growing each year thanks to advancements in technology, a rise in R&D, and innovations in materials.
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Researchers have been developing a special polymer that retains transparent properties while preventing undesirable color shifts toward yellow and green after heavy use. This offers a new opportunity for market players in the medical plastics market. Furthermore, despite the concerns raised regarding the use of polymers harming the environment and human health, the transparency of plastics and their cost-efficiency makes them hard to replace in the healthcare industry.
Development activities and innovations are expected to improve the performance of existing polymers and the use of plastics instead of metal replacement would open lucrative opportunities. Furthermore, medical plastics will disrupt the metal-, ceramic-, and glass-based medical devices.
Medical plastics are expected to witness an increased demand in the coming years. With the innovations in technology and the rise in the use of polymers in medical equipment, there are a lot of opportunities to grow in the market in the future.
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