The global refurbished medical equipment market is growing at a CAGR of 11.76% and is expected to reach USD 29.68 billion by 2027, from USD 15.23 billion in 2021. The global market is growing due to the increasing number of healthcare settings and increased access to healthcare services. The industry is growing due to the high prevalence of several acute and chronic diseases across the globe.
Refurbishment is the systematic process of making used equipment equal to or better than new. Refurbishment is rebuilding or updating with all new materials, components, or parts to restore their original (or better) working condition and appearance. The global refurbished medical equipment market grew significantly during the pre-pandemic times. However, outbreaks of diseases like bird flu, COVID-19, and Monkeypox create a massive demand for used medical equipment.
Small & medium-sized hospitals, typically doctor-owned and with less than 100 beds, often cannot afford to buy new high-end equipment. These facilities prefer refurbished equipment of reputed brands that will cost less but perform well for a few years without complaints. These could be young doctors who become self-employed after using such devices in large hospitals. They may be familiar with the equipment models, but they are short on a budget in the early stages of the business. Also, tier 3 cities may have enough patients without enough ability to pay. Such locations cannot provide sufficient return on investment (ROI) for new equipment. Nearly one-third of the medical equipment industry in developing countries is part of the refurbished medical equipment market.
Besides important environmental benefits, refurbishing provides sustainable economic benefits by creating business and employment in the refurbished medical equipment market. Even existing equipment owners may consider refurbishing their machines rather than disposing of old ones and buying new ones if their users are comfortable using the specific model. A refurbished asset can be re-capitalized on a depreciation schedule at half the value of new equipment. Refurbishment typically costs about half as much as buying a new one and can bring a machine back to like-new. In addition to the initial cost savings, refurbishment increases resale value and can provide tax benefits to a business, depending on how it’s structured.
Apart from cost savings, user comfort with the machines they’ve been using is a bonus. The global refurbished medical equipment market eliminates the annoying problems faced in using a worn-down machine and avoids the learning curve associated with new equipment. Users often grow fond of their devices and love to see their trusted old machines returned to life in better shape than before. The refurbishment also sometimes allows upgrading to the newest available technology.
MARKET TRENDS & OPPORTUNITIES
Increasing Demand for Medical Equipment in Developing Countries
The dearth of access to medical equipment in developing countries has attracted global interest in the refurbished medical equipment market for disease diagnosis. Healthcare systems in low-and middle-income countries often have limited access to medical equipment that appears to be in routine use. Implementing medical equipment refurbishment in a developing country would provide employment, increase the knowledge of medical technology among the people, and thus, provide a sustainable supply of skilled personnel for the healthcare industry.
High Capital and Procurement Costs of Medical Equipment
Medical equipment typically consists of complex machines that are expensive to purchase and operate and require significant maintenance. Smaller clinics and local medical centers may not be inclined to spend many resources purchasing new equipment that can easily deplete their entire annual budget for just a few devices. Purchasing refurbished medical equipment allows healthcare providers to maximize their budget while providing quality treatment options to each patient. By investing in refurbished equipment, hospitals and clinics can free up much-needed funds for other uses, such as staff, disposables, and medicines, further contributing to the growth of the refurbished medical equipment market.
Growing Preference for Eco-friendly Products
The environmental benefits of refurbished medical equipment are also worth touting. By extending the useful life of medical equipment from 5–7 to 10–14 years or even more, refurbishment is a form of reuse and waste prevention, contributing to an environmental economy. Refurbishment saves energy, and the materials are used to produce new equipment. Refurbishing medical equipment and extending its service life maximizes the return on the initial investment of energy and materials. Approximately 90% of the material for a system undergoing refurbishment can be reused; only 10% of the material must be recycled, which is done using environmentally friendly processes.
Hospital Budget Cuts
Preparing the hospital's capital budget is an interesting time because it often puts its executives at odds. There are two crucial points where refurbished medical equipment options can assist in this process. The first: relying on refurbished equipment in the development of capital budgets, as pricing options for refurbished equipment early in the process allow to push the price further while allowing for significant upgrades. Second, refurbished equipment can fill the capital budget gap with low-cost options for equipment.
In the UK, hospitals are struggling to afford the most advanced scanners and surgical equipment to treat patients who have cancer and other diseases because of multibillion-pound cuts to the NHS’s capital budget. In such cases, the refurbished medical equipment market becomes an ideal choice for hospitals to get the requirements at affordable prices.
Increasing Number of Diagnostic Centers & Hospitals
Diagnostic players are entering into outsourcing contracts with hospitals, whereby they would handle the entire diagnostic operations for them. Newly started small hospitals, diagnostic centers, and clinics have a financial burden and cannot dedicate to the new equipment. A few types of medical equipment could easily take up an entire annual budget for a small medical facility. Purchasing refurbished medical equipment is a viable solution contributing to the refurbished medical equipment market. The refurbished medical equipment is upgraded to current standards, ensuring updated equipment for a reasonable price.
Large Inventory of Used or Old Medical Devices
Medical equipment inventory is an accepted cost of doing business for manufacturers and is often the most significant cost category. Since medical equipment is typically a high-value product, any efficiencies or cost reductions can quickly contribute to the bottom line. Older equipment does not last forever, and this equipment eventually will need to be replaced and refurbished. It is expected that many facilities will be eager to replace their older systems with the resolution of global supply chain problems. These factors contribute to the rising sales of medical devices, which reflects a large inventory of used medical equipment in the refurbished medical equipment market.
PRODUCT TYPE INSIGHTS
The global refurbished medical equipment market by product type is segmented into medical imaging, IVD & laboratories, OR, surgical & therapeutic, patient monitoring, cardiology, dental, and others. In 2021, the medical imaging segment dominated the market, accounting for 25.58%. The use of medical diagnostic imaging equipment can resolve between 70 – 80% of diagnostic problems, but nearly 2/3 of the world’s population has no access to diagnostic radiology. Refurbished X-ray machines, ultrasound systems, MRI machines, CT scanners, and nuclear medicine systems (PET, SPECT, and PET/CT) allow healthcare facilities to provide patients with life-saving medical diagnostic imaging services.
The IVD & laboratories equipment segment will likely witness the highest CAGR of 13.14%. Further, the medical imaging equipment segment will account for the highest incremental growth of USD 3.10 billion over the forecast period.
Diagnosis & monitoring and treatment & surgical interventions are the key segments in the global refurbished medical equipment market by application. In 2021, the diagnosis & monitoring segment dominated the market with a share of 69.46%, followed by treatment & surgical interventions. Medical equipment is extensively utilized for patients’ diagnosis and treatment. Diagnostic and monitoring applications comprise Cardiology, Urology, Neurology, Orthopedics, Physiology, Emergency Medicine, Oncology, Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN), and others.
Arizton predicts that the treatment & surgical interventions segment will likely witness the highest CAGR of 12.40%. The diagnosis & monitoring segment will account for the highest incremental growth of USD 9.73 billion over the forecast period.
The global refurbished medical equipment market is segmented into hospitals, radiology/medical imaging centers, physicians' offices & dental clinics, clinical & research laboratories, and others by end-user. In 2021, the hospital segment accounted for 37.97% dominating the industry. Arizton predicts that the clinical & research laboratories segment will likely witness the highest CAGR of 12.18%.
The hospital's segment will account for the highest incremental growth of USD 5.24 billion over the forecast period. Hospitals utilize more medical equipment than any other healthcare setting. Diagnostics are the primary screening method in hospitals, which are the first point of contact for any infection and disease. The rising number of people with various infectious diseases encourages physicians in hospitals to use diagnostic imaging equipment, thereby increasing their demand.
The refurbished medical equipment market has a high potential due to low production and material costs, contribution to containing hospital costs, and high growth potential. North America and Europe are the matured market for refurbished medical equipment. In 2021, North America dominated the global refurbished medical equipment market with a share of 28.24%, followed by Europe, APAC, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. Arizton predicts that the APAC segment will likely witness the highest CAGR of 14.45% and the highest incremental growth of USD 4.84 billion over the forecast period. Factors associated with the market growth in the region include constant public and private funding, advancements in diagnostic imaging models, and growing medical awareness.
North American refurbished medical equipment market was valued at USD 4.30 billion in 2021. The North American region is dominating the global refurbished medical equipment market with the aging population, the prevalence of chronic diseases, growing healthcare expenditure, the need for advanced imaging techniques, the presence of well-established players, and a significant shift towards digital medical equipment. Further, the US accounted for 91.21% of the North American refurbished medical equipment market share. One of the major factors driving the demand for refurbished medical equipment in the US is the increasing diseased population, the increasing access to insurance, and the faster adoption of advanced healthcare instruments for treatments.
The global refurbished medical equipment market is exceptionally active, with fewer global, regional, and local players offering a wide range of medical equipment. The industry is less competitive, as the key players have gained significant refurbished medical equipment market share compared to other prominent players. The market provides the avenue for cheaper access to healthcare delivery and reduces costs in developing countries where these equipment are purchased for use.
The three major manufacturers in the refurbished medical equipment market, GE Healthcare, Koninklijke Philips, and Siemens Healthineers, have implemented the refurbished process and sold their refurbished medical equipment under distinct brand names. In 2021, North America was the largest regional refurbished medical equipment market. It was primarily attributed to the presence of many private healthcare facilities, the increasing aging population, the high prevalence of various diseases, ongoing reimbursement cuts, and regulatory scenarios for the sale and use of refurbished medical equipment in the US.