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The global healthcare personal protective equipment (PPE) market size was USD 37.6 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a positive demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge growth of 223.9% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to drop from USD 49.9 billion in 2021 to USD 29.5 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of -7.3% during the 2021-2028 period. The growth in CAGR is attributable to the market returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the equipment that is majorly used to protect the user from safety hazards or workplace health. These products are a significant source of emergency and recuperation of the worker’s safety. The current market conditions, driven by the COVID-19 outbreak, highlight the need for continued innovation in the healthcare sector.
COVID-19 Pandemic: Disruption in Supply Chain & High Product Pricing May Hamper Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed supply chain vulnerabilities within many industries. Offshoring of PPE kits to low-cost suppliers has been promoted or forced in healthcare systems in many countries. In the U.S., 95% of surgical masks and 70% of respirators are made overseas. Factory closures and travel bans have placed considerable pressure on the supply chain of these kits. Simultaneously, the evolving COVID-19 pandemic contributes to technological and political strains in the supply chain sector.
According to the Society for Healthcare Organization Procurement Professionals (SHOPP), many hospitals and assisted living centers that handle COVID-19 patients have seen a 1064% surge in the cost of required personal protective equipment due to the pandemic. For customers who use nitrile gloves due to the lack of vinyl gloves or other allergies, the price surge is much higher (1,084%). Similarly, in India, the treatment process of coronavirus patients in private hospitals has gone up by 10% to 25%. Patients are highly charged due to the costly personal protective equipment used by medical workers as a part of the extra sanitization measure. Although the supply chain has changed in recent months, a small number of healthcare facilities and companies continue to have trouble obtaining items, such as gloves and respirators.
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Emergence of Medical Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Asia Pacific is a Prominent Trend
The COVID-19 outbreak has put a major strain on the healthcare industry globally. Healthcare professionals are working tirelessly on rapid response, faster diagnosis, ensuring medical personnel's safety, and using human resources effectively. In this case, AI has emerged as an advantage to the healthcare industry, helping to cope with the pandemic effectively. The sector is quickly adopting cutting-edge technology to boost operations. For instance, the Chinese government has encouraged the development of AI tools for the healthcare sector.
To ramp up the efforts of developing AI systems, many healthcare companies and tech giants are speeding up CT scans of the suspected COVID-19 cases. In 2020, an artificial intelligence firm, iFlytek, jointly developed an AI-based COVID-19 diagnosis platform with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The system can analyze and read a patient’s CT scans within three seconds, as per the company.
As the coronavirus cases started spreading outside China, other countries in the Asia Pacific region also began strengthening and adopting their diagnostic capabilities with AI. For example, Malaysia’s Ministry of Health and Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society collaborated with Huawei Technologies for accurate and quick diagnostics results to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.
The provincial government in the Philippines joined forces with Lifetrack Medical Systems for an AI-based decision to support radiologists in identifying chest CT patterns presumptive of COVID-19. Also, the University of Sydney, Australia, start-up DetectED-X modified an AI diagnostic tool for improving breast cancer accuracy by detecting the virus using lung CT scans of patients coming from China and Italy. Therefore, the rising integration of advanced AI systems is likely to bode well for the global market growth in the forthcoming years.
Rising Demand for PPE Products from the Healthcare Industry to Aid Market Growth
Since the disease is extremely contagious and can spread asymptomatically, medical professionals and patients in critical care are becoming more concerned regarding their protection. The current global COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for healthcare personal protective equipment products in the industry, including gloves, face masks, gowns, coveralls, face shields, and goggles. These are worn to reduce the exposure to hazards that can cause serious health issues. Companies are focusing on increasing the production capacities of the product to support the overall market growth. At the initial stages, the COVID-19 outbreak in China had created a huge demand for these products for doctors and healthcare workers that resulted in the disruption of the supply chain in other countries.
The increasing demand for respiratory protection, hand protection, and protective clothing in the healthcare industry to ensure the safety of people and healthcare workers during the ongoing pandemic, is expected to boost the demand for healthcare personal protective equipment in the market. Healthcare workers are at a high risk as they are working in a high viral load environment. To safeguard the medical personnel deployed at COVID-19 treatment clinics, the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) collaborated with MAF Clothing Private Limited, for developing quality-certified and cost-effective fabric-based personal protective suits.
The growing concern towards worker safety and health, coupled with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases worldwide, is likely to boost the demand for the product. Strict government norms about safety concerns would force employers to comply with industry principles, thus stimulating the need for personal protective equipment in the healthcare sector. These factors are expected to boost the global market growth during the forecast period.
Increasing Skin Allergies Due to Usage of PPE Products to Hinder Growth
Due to the COVD-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing demand for healthcare personal protective equipment used by healthcare workers to treat patients. More than 40% of the medical staff has been experiencing serious skin injury related to the usage of PPE products, such as face shields, goggles, protective gowns or coveralls, and masks. These skin injuries are putting the staff at an increased risk of infection due to insufficient prevention and treatment measures.
Moist skin owing to sweating, skin tear due to tightness of masks, and pressure injuries are three primary reasons for skin injuries caused by personal protective equipment. Many of these allergies are caused due to heavy sweating, long wear time, and the usage of grade III type of products. Generally, the most susceptible part of skin injuries in medical staff includes nose bridges, ears, cheeks, and forehead. Long hours of wearing products, N95 respirators or surgical masks, and goggles pressurize the nose bridge and cheeks of healthcare workers, causing a high rate of skin injuries and allergies.
Increasing Demand for Protective Clothing amid COVID-19 to Boost Growth of This Segment
In terms of product, the market for healthcare PPE is segmented into eye & face protection, protective clothing, and gloves. The eye protection segment is further divided into safety goggles, face masks, and others. The protective clothing segment is further divided into isolation gowns, coveralls, and others.
The protective clothing segment is set to account for the major market share during the forecast period. The high demand for coveralls, isolation gowns and aprons to protect oneself from spreading the infection could boost the demand for protective clothing. Coveralls are mainly designed to cover the whole body, including lower legs, back, feet, and head. FDA classifies protective garments as surgical isolation, non-surgical, and surgical gowns. Additionally, the continuous increase in the demand for such protective clothing augments the production of PPE by various companies across the world. For example, in 2020, Dickies, in partnership with VF Corporation, its parent company, announced its support in fighting against coronavirus in the U.S. by manufacturing FDA-compliant isolation gowns for healthcare workers and hospitals.
In April 2020, Burlington announced its partnership with Ralph Lauren to create and produce isolation gowns for COVD-19 frontline workers in New Jersey, North Carolina, and New York. Hand hygiene is considered to be an important method that people can take to prevent infectious disease spread. Gloves may show a significant gain in the global market for healthcare personal protective equipment due to the increasing use of disposable gloves, sanitizers, and soaps. Medical gloves are preferably used to protect the wearer and other patients from spreading the illness or infection during medical examinations or procedures. These gloves are mainly disposable and include surgical gloves approved by the FDA.
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Hospitals Segment to Account for the Major Share in Near Future
In terms of end-users, the healthcare PPE market is segmented into healthcare facilities, consumers, and others. The hospitals segment accounted for the major share due to the rapidly growing coronavirus cases. PPE helps in preventing the spread of germs in hospitals and clinics. Hospitals use three different types of medical gloves made up of vinyl, nitrile, and latex materials. Hospitals and clinics have mandated using protective gloves among healthcare workers to protect them against various pathogenic microorganisms. Each healthcare worker should understand the rationale for using gloves and assess the potential risk that each task carries.
North America Healthcare Personal Protective Equipment Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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North America stood at USD 12.50 billion in 2020 and is expected to hold the highest position in the healthcare PPE market during the forecast period. This is due to the increasing awareness regarding the safety & health laws mandating the proper use of safety gloves, isolation gowns, and face masks. The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has led to a surge in the demand for PPE by healthcare and paramedical workers. The continuous R&D in the healthcare sector shall boost the regional industry growth.
According to WHO, the U.S. registered around 1,859,597 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of June 2020. This has led to the high demand for masks and respirators. Strict government regulations regarding the safety of patients, doctors, and other paramedical workers in hospitals or clinics, along with a huge penalty for non-compliance, have augmented the demand for disposable gloves. Also, companies are collaborating and increasing their production capacity to meet the overall demand. For example, in May 2020, 3M planned to triple its N 95 masks production, where the company expected to produce 96 million respiratory masks at the U.S. production facility by October.
Asia Pacific is expected to showcase considerable growth during the forecast period. China accounted for the largest share as it was the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. This has caused a high demand from the country for various PPEs, such as face masks, gloves, coveralls, and others. China is the major producer and exporter of products globally. The growing cases within the country have led to the surging demand for these products, supporting the growth of the personal protective equipment industry in the country. Improving hygiene and safety standards across various healthcare settings, especially in developed countries, is expected to continue to drive the regional market.
India has ramped up the production of COVID-19 related medical equipment and protective gear, thereby reducing the dependency on international countries. According to the Indian Medical Device Industry Association, Indian mask manufacturers usually produce about 240 million disposable masks per year, mainly for domestic purposes. Most distributors and manufacturers have surged disposable masks, protective gear, protective clothing, and other critical medical equipment production. The market share is moderately fragmented and is dominated by various medium and small-sized companies with masks operating production capacity between 10,000 and 100,000 per day. Also, In 2020, 3M India increased the production of hand sanitizers, surgical masks, and respirators by 35% to 40%, mainly for healthcare, workplace, and home care safety.
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The market for healthcare PPE in Europe is expected to showcase significant growth during the forecast period. COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Russia, Spain, the U.K., Italy, France, and Germany. There is no vaccine for treating COVID-19. Human trials of several existing antiviral drugs are yet to show efficacy. In an interview, the head of Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said the Russian hospitals would begin with the antiviral drug, Avifavir to patients from June 11, 2020. Additionally, in April 2020, UNICEF Spain donated around 418,000 face masks to the Spain Government for fighting against coronavirus. Also, the organization donated over 100,000 virus detection kits, 1,050,000 gloves, 97,000 hand sanitizer units, and 1,000 sets of PPEs.
Forming Strategic Alliances to Remain the Key Business Strategy Adopted by Companies
The healthcare personal protective equipment market share is fragmented and competitive with the presence of many regional and international manufacturers. The five key players operating in the industry are Honeywell, Ansell, 3M, Alpha ProTech, and DuPont, accounting for over 55% of the total market share in 2020. Other players include Superior Gloves, Medline Industries, Inc., Cardinal Health, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and others. Most of the industrial participants are expanding their businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak by forming alliances, such as partnerships, acquisitions, joint ventures, and new product launches to improvise their business and product portfolios in the value chain.
For instance, in May 2020, Aspen Surgical increased its capacity to 25% of the PPE products to support COVID-19 efforts in North America. Also, the company is planning to hire more than 100 new employees and is acquiring new machinery in Agua Prieta to support a 35% to 40% increase in isolation gown production.
In April 2020, DuPont partnered with Cummins, Inc., to supply critical material for N-95 respirator masks for healthcare professionals to help fight COVID-19. Additionally, in April 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) signed an agreement with DuPont to deliver 450,000 Tyvek suits to the U.S. to protect healthcare workers during the pandemic. Along with this, N95 respirator masks, face shields, and gloves will be provided. Tyvek coverall suit is an important piece of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers that are treating coronavirus. DuPont is making Tyvek suits at the Vietnam manufacturing facility. FedEx will ship these suits from Vietnam to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile for distribution across the country.
Also, non-medical manufacturers are entering into the business for healthcare personnel during the pandemic and boosting their production. To meet such abrupt demand gaps, Chinese companies, such as diaper companies, carmakers, the electronic industry, and others are adding masks, medical devices, protective clothing, and thermometers to their production lines. For instance, In 2020, Foxconn, a maker of the Apple iPhone, added surgical masks in its production unit.
In May 2020, Thinklabs One, a global electronic stethoscope provider, announced an advanced technology for healthcare workers, keeping them safe during the pandemic by allowing Safe Distance Auscultation. This is the process where doctors can listen to the patient’s lungs and hearts from a safe distance using earbuds, headphones, or external speakers that fit under or over PPE.
An Infographic Representation of Healthcare Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Market
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The global healthcare PPE market research report provides a detailed analysis of the industry and focuses on crucial aspects, such as leading companies, products, and products. Also, it offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years. It includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities.
Value (USD Billion)
Product; End-user; and By Region
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 37.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 29.5 billion by 2028.
In 2020, North America stood at USD 12.50 billion.
Registering a CAGR of -7.3%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The healthcare facilities segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
The rising demand for PPE products from the healthcare industry is the key factor driving the market.
Honeywell, Ansell, 3M, Alpha ProTech, and DuPont are the major players present in the market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
Stringent government regulations for the proper usage of PPE to minimize the contamination risk and companies doubling their production capacities to meet the overall demand would drive the demand for these products.
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