The global disinfection robots market size was valued at USD 191.90 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 2,105.08 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 30.49% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Disinfection is a process that includes physical or chemical means to control or destroy the harmful microorganisms that cause infectious diseases. The healthcare sector has seen significant advancements made by robots. These technological wonders are used in almost every facet of healthcare, from robotic surgery to robots that aid in physical therapy for injured people. Robots that are used for disinfecting surfaces are called disinfection robots.
Disinfection Robots are automated machines employed in various settings to disinfect or clean furniture, walls, equipment, etc. These robots are designed to disinfect surfaces with ultraviolet (UV) radiations, disinfectant sprays, or a combination. These robots offer outstanding defense against the spread of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. In addition, disinfection robots are portable robots that can move around on their own or with the assistance of a human operator. They are convenient, simple to install, less error-prone than manual cleaning techniques, and appear to save money by requiring fewer cleaning employees. As a result, disinfection robots are employed in various places worldwide, including malls, theaters, airports, educational institutions, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and research facilities.
Globally, Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) contribute to a major burden in the medical industry. Several studies have reported half of all life-threatening hospital-acquired bloodstream infections and pneumonia occur in intensive care units, despite representing only 15%–20% of all hospital beds. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 factsheet data, HAIs are the most frequent adverse events witnessed in healthcare delivery worldwide. In addition, it states that at any point in time, more than 1.4 million people are diagnosed with HAIs globally.
Furthermore, surgeries, including orthopedic, laparoscopic, bariatric, gynecological, and gastrointestinal surgeries, largely accounted for the rise in the volume of surgical procedures performed globally and increased the risk of HAIs. In addition, HAIs have been mainly attributed to poor disinfection, decontamination, and sterilization of hospital items, so strict measures should be taken to prevent HAIs. Effective management of various HAIs using various disinfectant and sanitization techniques is vital to stopping the deterioration of hospitalized patients' health and providing value-based care. Therefore, an increase in the target population with HAIs is contributing majorly to the growth of the market globally.
The latest revolutionary techniques in healthcare disinfectants improve product design, composition, and features, which increases end-user demand. New disinfectants are being developed, including enhanced hydrogen peroxide liquid disinfectant, peracetic acid-hydrogen peroxide combination, electrolyzed water, etc.
Many companies make cleaning, odor removal, and EPA-registered disinfectants. With such a selection of products, HCPs get the greatest solutions to keep themselves and their patients safe. For instance, STERIS sells 6% and 3% hydrogen peroxide WFI solutions. Therefore, more modern and effective disinfectants can be used in disinfection robots, increasing their popularity. Further, healthcare institutions must disinfect and sanitize surfaces for infection prevention. It is advised to supplement conventional approaches with the use of advanced technologies. In the future, newer liquid disinfectants will likely be more widely adopted to supplement the traditional cleaning and disinfection processes. These can be incorporated into disinfection robots, contributing to the market's growth.
Robots are designed to do tasks that they are only programmed to do. Therefore, these are being utilized for particular tasks. They are less useful for problem-solving. Robots find fine motor skills like opening doors, cooking, and dressing difficult. Robots can repeat tasks for lengthy durations but do not improve unless instructed. Robots can store, access, and retrieve vast volumes of data, but they may be less responsive and adaptive than humans.
Robots require supporting infrastructure such as internet, power supply, and maintenance, which, in turn, is turning this equipment expensive. These gadgets cost between USD 30,000 and USD 50,000, which raises worries about effectiveness. USD 135,000 per unit and requires staff training to deploy and control. Disinfection robots cost USD 104,000 and USD 3 for each patient room. However, the cost of maintenance and repair is also high. This creates a hindrance to market growth.
Several non-medical companies have developed COVID-19 protection measures for emergency healthcare workers. A low-cost, electric-drive disinfection robot is one such addition—Siemens and Aucma labs in Qingdao design prototypes in a week. Siemens operates a joint laboratory for robotic applications with the Qingdao-based company.
In addition, Corporate Technology China's R&D team used NX to virtual design the robot to make it available to front-line hospitals as quickly as possible. The lithium-ion battery-powered robot disinfects 20,000 to 36,000 square meters every hour. Two moisturizer guns act as the delivery system for the disinfectant in spray format. Further, the researchers chose a caterpillar system instead of wheels to make the robot more versatile. A top-mounted 360-degree camera feeds the operator. The video feed's vision algorithm lets the operator find and clean COVID-19-infected spots. These robots can be used in hospitals, schools, offices, public spaces, and manufacturing sites. Such advancements can bring more opportunities for developing disinfection robots in the market.
The global disinfection robots market is segmented by product type and end-user.
Based on product type, the global disinfection robots market is bifurcated into UV disinfection robots, disinfection spray robots, and combined system robots.
The UV disinfection robots segment dominates the market and is projected to develop a CAGR of 31.83% over the forecast period. Clinical studies have shown that ultraviolet light is an efficient disinfectant. By destroying their DNA structure, it eliminates illnesses, viruses, bacteria, and other kinds of germs from the environment. Xenon flash lamps, known as UV-C, produce high-intensity ultraviolet light across the entire disinfecting spectrum. This UV-C energy passes through the cell walls of bacteria, viruses, and bacterial spores. The DNA, RNA, and proteins inside the microorganism absorb this intense UV-C energy leading to cell death. In addition, UV Disinfection robots such as the UVD robotic device by Blue Ocean Robotics, Tru-D SmartUVC, robots by Shanghai-based Taimi Robotics Technology, and LightStrike by Xenex Disinfection Services are increasingly advocated as a simple solution for the immediate disinfection of rooms and spaces of all surfaces in one process. Emerging players offering UV-C disinfection robots and their advantages contribute to the market's growth.
Disinfection-spraying robots are designed to clean open-air spaces, furniture, machinery, and vehicles. When the robot moves automatically along a pre-planned path, disinfection is done by sprinkling hot fog. Completely autonomous disinfection-spraying robots sterilize automatically while monitoring the amount of solution spraying, the covered area, and the battery level. This application technique enables a single operator to disinfect sizable areas while maintaining several robots efficiently. In addition, the use of hydrogen peroxide has been steadily gaining popularity due to the appearance of businesses like Bioquell, XAG, and other research-based corporations that provide disinfection spray robots. For instance, Nevoa developed a patented disinfectant hypochlorous acid called Microburst for its disinfection robots. Researchers from the Center for Integrated Manufacturing and Technology in Brazil developed a disinfection robot with a sodium hypochlorite dilution spray system.
Based on end-user, the global disinfection robots market is segmented into healthcare facilities, the biopharmaceutical industry, transport, hospitality, and others.
The other segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 28.38% during the forecast period. This segment includes schools, logistics, and other public spaces, which have the highest adoption of disinfection robots compared to other end-users. These places get easily infected by touching handles, doorknobs, and other equipment, as well as due to improper disinfecting measures. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the essential concerns in disinfecting commercial spaces. For instance, office spaces, including conference rooms, need to be disinfected regularly to avoid transmitting the infectious virus.
Furthermore, educational institutions with poor sanitation, hygiene, and water conditions, coupled with the intense levels of person-to-person contact, create a high-risk environment for the staff, thereby aggravating the susceptibility to environmental health hazards for individuals. According to regulatory standards, disinfection robots can broadly help eliminate microorganisms from the inanimate environment to a considerably safer level. The demand for disinfection robots will broaden the range of end-users and contribute to future market growth.
Various healthcare settings providing healthcare services use disinfection robots to prevent the spread of HAIs and other infections while treating patients with acute and chronic diseases. The market will witness massive growth due to the impact of COVID-19, and eventually, the growth rate might decrease as the pandemic subsides. The occurrence of epidemics or significant infectious diseases in the future will improve market expansion. Factors contributing to market growth include growing hospitalizations, healthcare expenditure, investments, public and private funding, and advancements in healthcare technologies. Hospitals are considered primary healthcare providers with high usage of disinfection robots compared to other facilities.
Based on region, the global disinfection robots market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Europe is the most significant global disinfection robots market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 29.18% during the forecast period. The major contributing factor to the region's growth is the increasing incidence rate of HAIs. For instance, the most recent comprehensive study by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) concluded that approximately nine million HAI cases of HAIs occur across Europe annually. After the COVID-19 epidemic, disinfection robot use has rapidly increased, moving beyond hospitals to include hotels and public areas like airports and public transportation. Moreover, the healthcare system in this region is advanced, highly regulated, sophisticated, and evolved with a standard reimbursement structure. Furthermore, the region follows considerable guidelines to maintain safety and standards for disinfecting and sanitizing products. In addition, the region is home to some of the best and most established healthcare systems globally. A booming private sector caters to those who want extra comfort, choice, and shorter waiting time. Such favorable initiatives by both private and government bodies are fueling market growth.
North America is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 29.76% over the forecast period. The growth in this region is primarily attributed to the growing elderly population with a riding patient pool suffering from chronic illnesses, increasing prevalence of HAIs, growing healthcare expenditure, and stringent government regulations for maintaining hygienic conditions at healthcare facilities. In addition, the availability of advanced healthcare infrastructure, constant technological innovations, and increasing demand for automated devices in healthcare and industrial facilities are further accelerating the market growth in this region. Due to increasing consumer hygiene awareness, key vendors offer broader formulating solutions that cater to their changing needs and preferences. Further, implementing proper hygiene and sanitation in hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, ambulatory care centers, and other healthcare settings is gaining traction, which is anticipated to boost the sales of disinfection robots in the region.
Asia-Pacific is growing the fastest in the market, with major revenue contributors including China, Japan, India, Australia, and South Korea. High disease prevalence with a growing geriatric population, improvement in healthcare spending, and increasing awareness of infection prevention in healthcare settings will enhance the market growth in this region. Low awareness and less access to healthcare services with inadequate infection control measures, especially in developing countries, limit the market's growth. However, this region's emerging players and technological advancements will make Asia-Pacific the fastest-growing region in the global disinfection robot market.
Latin America region hosts some of the most dynamic and emerging economies characterized by different opportunities, with a population of around 652 million in 2020. The demand for healthcare services in the region is rising. Increasing competition among the investors and decentralization in the market is anticipated to increase the number of potential consumers. In today's scenario, Latin America is experiencing an increasing demand for maintaining hygienic conditions in clinics and hospitals. This can be attributed to the region's rising investments in healthcare service upgrades. With the help of various government initiatives and awareness campaigns conducted by the companies, there is an increase in the demand for maintaining hygienic and sanitized conditions in hospitals across the region, thereby enhancing the demand for disinfection robots in the region.
In the Middle East and Africa, the disinfection robots market region is likely to have a declining growth rate compared to other regions due to fewer manufacturers and reduced deployment of disinfection robots. However, the growing elderly population, rising prevalence of HAIs, increase in government initiatives and healthcare funding, and need for maintaining disinfected areas due to COVID-19 will continue to enhance the market growth during the forecast period.
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