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The global medical swabs market size was USD 2.67 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.88 billion in 2021 to USD 4.59 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.9% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with medical swabs witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a stellar growth of 15.0% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2020. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
For decades, swabs have been used by the healthcare industry for sample collection during any research activities or during a diagnostic procedure. The application of cotton plugged stick has become user-friendly for the healthcare personnel while withdrawing samples from the patients by having minimum contact with the infected person.
This helped gain traction to the market value and is witnessing steady growth over the years. However, pandemics have exceptionally leveraged the market potential owing to demand a sterile and wide variety of products for conducting point-of-care testing procedures. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), public health emergency all over the world was announced in January 2020 due to the spread of coronavirus.
The pandemic crisis eventually led to a higher demand for medical supplies such as sterile swab, surgical masks, and diagnostic products. Therefore, higher sales of products, increasing prevalence of infectious disease, and advancements in the quality of products are likely to positively impact the market during the forecast period.
Higher Demand for Rapid Diagnostics during COVID-19 to Increase Sales of Medical Swabs
Medical swab sales during the COVID-19 pandemic marked a positive increase, owing to its higher demand for rapid diagnostic testing. The increasing prevalence of coronavirus infections daily caused pressure on hospitals and diagnostic centers for conducting tests using sterile medical supplies. This accelerated the production rate of these products. For instance, the market leader Puritan Medical Products in March 2020 announced the increase in production of these products up to 1 million per week to maintain the supply balance.
The funds for this production were disbursed through the Defense Production Act and CARES Act, targeting to double the production of the products to over 100 million swabs per month. By March 2021, the target has been exceeded over 200 million per month.
Additionally, an Indian company, Suparshva Swabs, multiplied the production of polyester products under the Tulips brand up to 5 million units per week in May 2020. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic has created multiple growth opportunities for the manufacturers to increase their revenue during the forecast period.
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Technological Advancements in the Production to Increase Market Potentiality
Advancements in any market are a positive approach in leveraging the market potentiality and market value. Though the market has a lower value attributed to its lesser sales and lower price value, a sudden occurrence of pandemics such as Influenza, COVID-19, and others has led to a tremendous demand for the products to collect samples. Similarly, to meet the shortage faced in such a crisis, researchers are developing strategies to multiply the manufacturing of swabs. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a team of researchers from the USF Health 3D Clinical Applications Division created a 3D printed nasal swab.
The division of 3D Clinical Applications at the University of South Florida’s (USF) Department of Radiology started observing the potential for creating a 3D printed alternative for the traditional flocked NP swab. This product has received manufacturing permission from the regulatory bodies. In collaboration with Form Labs, these products are being produced in Ohio and are likely to accelerate the production up to 100,000 per day. Therefore, innovations in the market are likely to surge the market value in the forecast period 2021-2028.
Rise in Rapid Testing Procedures to Fuel Demand
The emergence of rapid testing procedures in the market has led to an increased demand for these products for specimen collection, disinfection, and other applications. For example, the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 witnessed a surge in rapid testing owing to a rise in coronavirus infections. Moreover, in June 2020, research was initiated to launch a self-swabbing test for COVID-19 diagnosis by the Stanford University of Medical.
Additionally, in June 2020, the U.S. FDA approved Cue’s Health POC COVID-19 test kit that extracts nasal samples by swabbing technique. Therefore, the growing adoption of rapid testing by end-users, is anticipated to promote the global medical swabs market growth during the forecast period.
Increasing Prevalence of Infectious Diseases is Augmenting Growth
A sudden rise in infectious diseases leading to a global pandemic (COVID-19) has resulted in high demand for diagnostic procedures and products. According to the Statistics by Worldometer, there has been a continuous rise in the daily new cases in each country across the globe. On June 21st 2020, the U.S recorded a total of 16,142 coronavirus positive cases in 24 hours. Thus, the daily record of higher cases has led to a surge in the diagnostic tests to provide early treatment to the patients.
Moreover, the rise in coronavirus infections has also been recorded in the growing economies. For example, Brazil has recorded a total case of more than 12 lakh cases as of June 2020. This is likely to increase the sales of these products required for specimen collection of the samples.
Demand-Supply Shortage to Limit Market Growth
Currently, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, most manufacturers are witnessing a rise in demand for these products for testing procedures. As the manufacturers are struggling to meet the demand-supply balance, the shortage of medical supplies may lead to a temporary closure of drive-thru clinics in developed countries. For instance, according to a CNN news article, a sudden closure of the drive-thru clinic was observed in Minnesota.
In addition to this, the Department of Health in Ohio, announced to test only vulnerable patients due to a global shortage of medical supplies such as swabs, sample collection tubes etc. Therefore, the sudden occurrence of the coronavirus pandemic led to a shortage of medical supplies, subsequently limiting the growth rate of the market.
Cost-Effectiveness to Drive Cotton Tipped Swabs Growth
On the basis of type, the market is categorized into cotton-tipped, foam tipped, non-woven, and others. Among these, the cotton tipped segment dominated the market in 2019 owing to its user-friendly approach during specimen collection. As these products are disposable, the demand for its continuous supply is higher, especially during pandemics.
The sales of these product increased during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak as these products are used for sample collection from the infected patients. Foam-tipped swabs also showcased a considerable market share owing to their advantage during the disinfection procedure. Non-woven products are used for cleaning and healing wounds, are cost-effective, and a better alternative to traditional gauze. The sale of these products is likely to accelerate during the forecast period due to rise in infectious diseases coupled with increasing demand for high standard sterile products.
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Growing Infectious Disease to Lead Specimen Collection Dominance
Based on application, the market is segmented into specimen collection, disinfection, and others. The higher prevalence of COVID-19 globally and increasing incidence of other infectious diseases among people are some of the major factors responsible for the dominance of the specimen collection in 2019. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of September 2021, more than 557 million tests were performed in the U.S. itself.
The disinfection segment is anticipated to project a significant CAGR during the forecast period owing to the increase in the number of surgical procedures in hospitals. Cotton-tipped sterile swabs are largely preferred for disinfecting an area, and as they are disposable, their continuous supply is demanded from manufacturers.
Laboratories & Diagnostic Centers to Register Higher CAGR Owing to Demand in Diagnostic Procedures
In terms of end-user, this market is segmented into hospitals & clinics, laboratories & diagnostic centers, and research institutes. The hospitals & clinics segment is expected to hold the dominant share in the market during the forecast period due to an increase in hospital stay of patients suffering from COVID infections. For instance, according to the Worldometer statistics, as of June 2020, there were more than 39 lakh coronavirus active cases in the world.
The laboratories & diagnostic centers are expected to grow at a higher CAGR due to the increase in the diagnostic procedures, coupled with the rise in the sale of sterile products required for sample collection in both developed and emerging countries. Moreover, research institutes will also register a comparatively higher CAGR due to the extensive research activities carried out to develop the COVID vaccine.
North America Medical Swabs Market Size, 2020 (USD billion)
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The market size in North America stood at USD 1.10 billion in 2020. The dominance of this region is attributable as the prevalence of infectious disease is higher in the region, contributing for more IVD tests being performed in which medical swabs are used. Thus, the increasing diagnostics procedures in the region are boosting the demand for these products in the market. For instance, according to IHME Data, in 2019, 1.14 million people in the U.S. were suffering from infectious diseases. Thus, the increased prevalence of infectious diseases is boosting the growth of the market.
The medical swabs market in Europe is expected to grow at a significant CAGR owing to rising in-vitro diagnostic tests in which these products have major application. For instance, according to BIVAD, more than 900 million in-vitro diagnostics tests are carried out each year in the U.K. Thus, the increasing in-vitro diagnostics procedures in the region will boost the demand for medical swabs to collect samples from the patients.
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The market in Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit healthy growth owing to the rise in the sales of these products, coupled with the increasing number of coronavirus testing facilities. In addition to this, market players in this region are making heavy investments, which in turn will fuel the demand for sterile products. Latin America & the Middle East & Africa markets accounted for a comparatively lower share in the market owing to the lesser conductance of research activities that require specimen collection using a swab as well as lower conductance of diagnostic procedures.
Robust Portfolio and Supply Chain Strategy of Puritan Medical Products to Help Lead Market
The global medical swabs market is highly fragmented owing to the presence of both large and small scale industry players. Puritan Medical Products leads the market with a higher share among them due to its robust product portfolio, including cotton-tipped, polyester, non-woven, and other products. The company is focusing on delivering high-quality standard products as stated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the company has a strong distribution channel boosting its sales all over the world.
Other key players, such as BD, Copan Diagnostics Inc., and 3M, successfully marked their presence in the global market. Delivering improvised products and maintaining a demand-supply balance is the key strategy adopted by the key industry players in the global market.
An Infographic Representation of Medical Swabs Market
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The market research report provides a detailed SWOT analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading product applications. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market, current trends and forecast, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Type, Application, End User, and Geography
By End user
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.67 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 4.59 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the North America market value stood at USD 1.10 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 6.9%, the market will exhibit a steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The cotton tipped segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing prevalence of infectious diseases leading to the growing need for diagnostic procedures is driving the market.
Puritan Medical Products, BD, and Copan Diagnostics Inc. are major players in the global market.
North America dominated the market share in 2020.
The launch of higher standard quality and varied types of swabs are expected to drive the product adoption in the global market.
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