What are the Growth Markets in the Hospital Infection Control Industry?

What are the Growth Markets in the Hospital Infection Control Industry?

  Infections that result from activities or procedures occurring in the facility are a great concern in the healthcare industry. In Kalorama Information’s recently published report, Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) Control Markets, the continued scourge of nosocomial infection, or hospital acquired infection (HAI), is a major contributor to the growth of companies dedicated to disinfection, treating or testing for HAIs.  Infection control in healthcare facilities employs numerous tactics to keep building occupants away from patients with communicable infectious diseases and to treat those who have them.  This creates a three-part market opportunity for companies with products that can help.

About Nosocomial Infections

 A nosocomial infection, or HAI, develops during hospitalization, and is defined as being identified at least 48 to 72 hours following admission. HAIs are not found upon admission, are temporarily associated with admission or a procedure at a healthcare facility, and were infections incubating at admissions to the facility but related to a pervious procedure or admissions at the same or other healthcare facility. As such, HAIs pose challenging situations for healthcare staff aiming to prevent, test for, and treat the nosocomial disease.

There are many common infections that are considered nosocomial that may develop in the hospital, such as Clostridium Difficile.  The name signals just how challenging it can be for healthcare facilities to cope with HAIs. C. difficile is a commensal bacterium, meaning it lives in harmony with other bacteria of the human intestine in a minority of the population. The bacterium is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and cultures itself as spores from any surface spores. HAIs like C. difficile pose unique problems to preventative measures. Since several disinfectants commonly used in hospitals may actually fail to kill bacteria like C. difficile, though disinfectants containing bleach are usually the most effective. To combat HAIs like C. difficile  means advanced technologies need to be implemented in the hospital environment in order to prevent, test, and treat the disease.

Hopsital-Acquired infection Markets

 Preventing infections like C. difficile and other HAIs requires that all possible measures be taken to establish an environment conducive to both patients’ and healthcare workers’ well-being. Growing awareness of HAIs has resulted in more efficient testing procedures, prevention measures, and treatment. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate around 1 in 20, or 5% of hospitalized patients contracting an HAI in their lifetime. Worldwide the nosocomial rate of infection is between 3.5% and 12% of admissions in developed regions.

The two processes of sterilization and disinfection are primarily used as preventative measures against HAIs. Disinfection destroys pathogenic organisms, but with bacterium like C. difficile that promote spore growth, sterilization is used, destroying all living microorganisms including bacterial spore cells with temperatures double of those used in the disinfection process. There is growing concern over resistant bacterial infections and rising evidence that these organisms remain on instrument, and hospital administrators continue to search for the best method and technology to reduce deadly spores and risks to both patients and staff. Companies involved in this growing HAI market segment find great benefits to offer sterilization products compatible with reusable medical devices.

Diagnostics for Hospital Acquired Infection Control

The hospital setting is badly in need of new testing procedures to define a pathogen’s susceptibility to antibacterial treatment, but the market for detecting the presence of HAIs is still an important industry segment as new, more rapid, and more definitive diagnostic tests for HAIs infections are developed. In recent years improved methods for testing patients, for example testing for MRSA infections via a nostril swab, have become effective and quick options in bacteria detection. Admissions screening has also been effective in some areas, even reducing the spread of MRSA infections in U.S. hospitals and some developed European countries. In some European countries, including the U.K., screening for infections such as MRSA is administered upon admission to a hospital. Thus, the demand for serious infection testing will remain steady, as nosocomial diseases will continue to evolve, and steady demand for healthcare infectious disease testing, like MRSA and C. difficile tests, drive the disease testing market as investors struggle to modernize healthcare facilities’ diagnostic infrastructure.

Issues like rising bacteria resistance because of poor antibiotic practices and older, less effective antibiotics in general means treating HAI infections is a necessary course of action. Treatment of infections in hospitals and care centers involves the careful selection of antibiotics for specific infection strains. Anti-infective agents are most often used in clinical practice to treat infections that are the result of a pathogen. ‘Anti-infective’ may be used to describe antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoal, antileprotic, and antituberculous agents. Anti-infectives aim to eradicate infection while avoiding drug-induced toxicity, and for the past 60 years antibiotics have succeeded in turning bacterial infections into treatable conditions.  Recently, however, antibiotics’ effectiveness has waned dramatically as different types of bacteria grow more resistant. This lack of effective antibiotics is forcing the industry to re-evaluate prevention, diagnosis, and treatment plans for patients in hospitals and other inpatient facilities, guaranteeing investment in more advanced products.

Particularly when financing healthcare becomes limited, HAIs become a crucial issue facing hospital staff and patients alike. Luckily the infection control market is a secure investment for companies seeking to market treatments, tests or prevention equipment, as infections will always exist. Preventing, testing, and treating hospital-acquired infections provides the infection control industry with three indispensable segments when new technology must continually be developed and manufactured to keep up with infected patients. With factors like advanced products that will treat infections, improved admission screening, and increasing interesting interest in sterilizing and disinfecting programs providing mere glimpses into the growing awareness and importance placed on the nosocomial infections, infection control’s diverse approaches to fighting the HAI will be required for the foreseeable future and bode well for the nosocomial infection’s market impact.

Kalorama's  Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) Control Markets has detailed market sizing and forecast, as well as company profile information for this market.