Demand for Medical Elastomers Increase
Growth in Medical Elastomer Market
Elastomer materials offer a variety of valuable physical and performance properties that are especially desirable in medical applications. Elastomers have excellent sterilization properties, which are critical in a healthcare environment, and meet the high purity demands of the industry. As a result, elastomers are becoming an increasingly popular choice for medical product manufacturers. The thermoplastic elastomer market is especially robust given that thermoplastic elastomers are the most popular of the medical elastomers, but the silicone elastomer market is also growing alongside increased demand for medical applications.
The flexibility and stability of elastomers make them an especially excellent choice for surgical tubing and medical tubing of all kinds. Medical elastomers are often used in fluid pathways, blood pressure tubing, wound drainage and Penrose tubing, and even drug delivery systems. Elastomers maintain their shape even when twisted and stretched and are durable enough for a fast-paced surgical environment. Additionally, elastomers offer excellent dimensional stability and tight tolerances, so they’re an excellent choice for precision manufacturing and highly customized specifications. As a result, many medical tubing suppliers have been exploring the possibilities of medical elastomers and introducing more elastomer tubing options to the market.
Medical elastomers present very little risk of allergic reaction. Thermoplastic elastomers are naturally free of latex and are completely safe for both patients and healthcare providers with latex allergies and sensitivities. Because elastomers exhibit many of the same qualities as natural rubber latex without any latex-associated risk, elastomers can be an excellent choice for medical and healthcare applications.
Medical Supply Hardships due to COVID-19
Medical elastomers and elastomer products are vital in the ongoing fight against infectious diseases like COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic put a significant strain on the world’s healthcare systems, driving up demand for important supplies as more and more patients required care. Elastomers, such as thermoplastic elastomers and silicone elastomers, can be found in respirators and some types of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and coated hospital fabrics, all of which have been in high demand since the pandemic began.
Supply chain disruptions and temporary business closures impacted global supply of medical elastomers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many manufacturers struggled to procure necessary materials and maintain production volume. Supply chain volatility remains a challenge for many industries into 2022, and demand for medical elastomers remains high as markets seek to rebalance.
The end of the COVID-19 pandemic will not bring a dramatic drop in demand for medical elastomers. The United States’ stockpile of PPE was never fully replenished after the 2009 outbreak of H1N1, and the shortage was felt throughout the pandemic. Manufacturers of PPE and other medical supplies struggled to keep up with massive demand throughout the pandemic. Governments and other groups may seek to build up a reserve of PPE and other medical supplies once COVID-19 case levels drop below a certain threshold, which will also impact demand for medical elastomers.
Global travel and societal changes lead to increased demand for medical elastomers
There are a number of societal shifts impacting demand for medical elastomers, such as the aging of the population. Thanks to medical advancements and other factors, human beings are living longer than ever. Many people require more healthcare as they age, which has resulted in increased need for healthcare services for a growing elder population. There are many uses for medical tubing in elder care, which drives up demand for medical elastomers.
Another societal shift is the accessibility of travel. From public transportation to international flight, it’s never been easier or faster to travel from place to place. While there are many significant benefits to these advancements in human mobility, there are risks as well. The impact of a pathogen spread via travel can range from a contained outbreak to a global pandemic, putting extra strain on healthcare systems and driving up demand for supplies. As human mobility grows and more people move to dense urban areas, there may be an increased need for medical elastomers to manage increased spread of disease.
Growth of thermoplastic elastomer market in Asia-Pacific Region
Historically, North America has been the largest market for medical elastomers. There are two primary reasons for this: 1. Medical device technology in North America is quite advanced. Many other regions rely on imported medical devices from North America. 2. North America spends more per capita on healthcare than any other region in the world.
However, the thermoplastic elastomer market in the Asia-Pacific region is growing rapidly. Large countries in the region, such as China and India, have announced healthcare goals that will necessitate greater consumption of medical elastomers. Additionally, some countries have started or increased domestic manufacturing of medical products that utilize elastomer materials. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to gain share of the thermoplastic elastomer market in the next few years and may even outpace the North American market for medical elastomers.
KEP keeps pace with demand for medical elastomers
Kent Elastomer Products has decades of experience navigating the global elastomer market and producing top-quality medical and surgical tubing. We can help you capitalize on growing demand for medical elastomers and keep pace with the needs and swift evolution of the healthcare industry. Our domestic manufacturing facilities operate at maximum efficiency and can produce highly customized medical and surgical tubing based on precise specifications. We can manufacture a wide variety of fluid pathways, blood pressure tubing, wound drainage tubing, and more.
You can minimize supply chain slowdowns by trusting KEP to handle every step of the manufacturing process, from prototyping to packaging. We offer on-site labeling and packaging services, so you can avoid the frustration of coordinating too many vendors.
Learn more about our manufacturing capabilities for medical and surgical tubing >
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