The global medical textile market size was valued at USD 29.23 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 42.69 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Medicinal textiles are fiber-based products utilized in medical settings. Medical textiles are crucial in the medical industry; these materials must be biocompatible and capable of disinfection without undergoing any chemical or structural changes. The textile materials must be known to be poisonous and offer waterproofing and air permeability. It ought to be acid and alkali resistant. The medical textile needs to be durable enough to withstand repeated washings in a washing machine and antimicrobial to prevent the spread of germs.
Medical textiles may be used in orthopedic, cardiovascular, and soft tissue implant closure procedures. Medicinal textiles are frequently used in external applications to heal wounds on the body's surface. They can also replace the many organs inside the body because they are not toxic or carcinogenic. These resources help to defend the medical staff when they treat patients in a hospital.
Rising Awareness for Better Healthcare Practices
The rise in the number of chronic diseases among a notable portion of the population across the globe has created a need for awareness regarding better healthcare practices. Several governments globally have initiated campaigns to educate people of all ages regarding awareness and relative treatment for chronic diseases. This is expected to increase medical operations and positively impact the medical textile market.
Health awareness campaigns by the National Institute of Health in the U.S. has influenced the population to get better healthcare practices in the past decade. This includes campaigns for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and kidney diseases by prominent health institutes in the U.S. Campaigns by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are expected to create awareness for better healthcare practices and thereby positively impact the market.
Ongoing Technological Advancements
Technological advancements are implemented in medical textile manufacturing, offering new treatment options ranging from textile-based implants instead of scarce donor organs to artificial joints, tissues, and ligaments. This further helps speed recovery after medical treatment with innovative light wound dressings. Recent technological advancements in sutures include those by companies based in the U.S., such as Honeywell International (Spectra Medical Grade), Tyco Healthcare (improved placement in tissue), and Poly-Med, as well as those from Biotronik in Switzerland.
Furthermore, using reinforced spider silk from Tufts University based in the U.S. and support for cartilage and bone regeneration from Bioretec in Finland are exemplary advancements in cell growth technology. Advancements in developing textile fibers and conduits to guide nerve reconnection and regeneration include those from Oxford Biomaterials in the U.K. and Astra Tech in Sweden. Such advancements in the textile industry drive market expansion.
Fluctuations in Foreign Currencies
A medical textile needs to fulfill the purpose for which it is designed; for example, sutures may require a biodegradable textile, swabs require an absorbent textile and hospital bedding should be comfortable and durable. Biocompatibility of medical textiles refers to the reaction of the textile with blood and tissue in the body. Implantable devices usually have more probability of reaction than an external devices; hence, they are subjected to stricter regulations.
The British and European Standard BS EN 14065 describes a management system for assuring the microbiological quality of processed linen used in specifically defined sectors where it is necessary to control microbiological contamination. It describes a Risk Analysis and Biocontamination Control (RABC) system designed to enable linen processors to ensure the microbiological quality of processed linen continuously. The continuous process incurs slightly higher costs and acts as a barrier to production, thereby hampering market expansion.
Growing Demand for Medicinal Textile Due to COVID-19
Increasing demand for healthcare and hygiene products owing to a sudden spike in consumer trends for hygiene maintenance to curb COVID-19 is expected to provide growth opportunities to the global market. The development of medical products to protect patients and hospital staff from infections due to bacteria, viruses, and body fluid invasions in hospital operating rooms creates demand for healthcare and hygiene products.
The surge in medical facilities for COVID-19 treatment has positively impacted the global market. This includes demand for face masks, gowns, gloves, caps, etc. Moreover, the establishment of new production facilities for personal protective equipment across the major economies in the Asia Pacific, Europe, and Central and South America will likely provide a wide scope for the global market.
The global medical textile market is segmented by fabric and application.
Based on fabric, the global market is bifurcated into woven, knitted, non-woven, and others.
The non-woven equipment segment dominates the global market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.1% over the forecast period. The demand for non-woven fabrics in the medical textile manufacturing industry witnessed substantial growth owing to their better water vapor transmission capacity and higher strength than other fabrics. Due to such properties, non-woven fabrics are widely used for making health and hygiene products, such as absorbent pads, incontinence products, bed linen and blankets, face masks, gowns, filter media, dressings, shoe covers, caps, and others. Non-woven fabrics are widely used due to their easily modifiable properties in strength and flexibility. As per the Association of Non-woven Fabrics Industry (INDA), the medical and hygiene sector accounts for an average of 90% of the total non-woven production in the U.S. annually.
In addition, the usage is growing in developing countries owing to the development of the healthcare sector. This is expected to drive the consumption of non-woven fabrics in the global market. Demand for the product has increased because of the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gowns and face masks, has surged due to the need to prevent the spread of viruses.
The manufacturing of woven fabrics includes weaving numerous threads perpendicularly to each other. The strength of the woven fabric depends on the type of yarn or thread used. The durability and strength of woven fabrics are higher than non-woven fabrics, as they are reinforced by thread crossing thread, thus creating a strong barrier. This is expected to drive the demand for woven fabrics over the forecast period. However, their manufacturing cost is high due to complex manufacturing mechanisms, thus limiting the growth of the woven medical textiles market.
Furthermore, woven fabrics are less extensible and porous than non-woven fabrics, which is expected to decrease their demand among medical textile manufacturers. Key characteristics of woven fabrics include dimensional stability, flexibility, high tensile strength in both longitudinal and crosswise directions, high burst strength, and high suture retention strength. This is expected to drive their demand in several medical applications, including scaffolds for tissue culturing and prostheses for permanent body implants.
Based on application, the global market is segmented into implantable goods, non-implantable goods, healthcare and hygiene products, and others.
The healthcare and hygiene products segment owns the largest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.3% during the forecast period. Health and hygiene products account for a major share of the global market owing to their widespread usage in several healthcare applications, including fem Feminine and baby care products, protection equipment, cleaning products, and general hygiene. The global market is anticipated to be driven by the rising demand for several health and hygiene items, such as beds, surgical gowns and masks, and cleaning pads, due to the construction of healthcare infrastructure in several nations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, increasing investments in the healthcare industry by several developed and developing countries are expected to generate high demand for health and hygiene products, benefitting the growth of the global market.
Implantable goods are medical devices used to replace a missing biological structure and enhance the functioning of biological structures. They are used for several applications in the health industry, including wound closure, replacement surgery, reconstructive surgery, corrective surgery, and soft tissue implants. Several artificial body parts of the human body, including tendons, ligaments, cartilages, joints, and vascular grafts, are made using medical textiles made of materials such as collagen, polyglycolide fiber, polylactide fiber, polypropylene fiber, polyamide fiber, chitin, and polyester.
Furthermore, reinforcing surgical meshes and suspensers are used in plastic surgeries to repair abdominal wall defects. Implantable goods comprise fiber structures such as braided, woven, non-woven, knitted, and monofilament. The growing number of surgical procedures globally is expected to drive the demand for implantable goods. This is expected to propel the growth of the global market over the forecast period.
The global medical textile market is bifurcated based on region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global medical textile market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period. The expansion of non-woven fabric production facilities across several nations, including China, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Japan, and Indonesia, is credited with driving the growth of the medical textiles market in the Asia-Pacific region. As per data published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and the All Nippon Nonwovens Association (ANNA), Asia non-woven production was 6,935 thousand tons in 2020 and registered an increase of about 18% as compared to 2019. In addition, governments in countries like India, Japan, and South Korea also provide financial and technological assistance to such companies to ramp up the production number of such equipment. For instance, as per METI, the Japanese government provides subsidies in capital investment for mask manufacturing facilities and raw material procurement. This is expected to drive the growth of the medical textiles market over the forecast period.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.0% over the forecast period. The growth of the Europe medical textile market is attributed to a rise in healthcare expenditure in several countries of the European region, leading to the expansion of existing healthcare facilities, like a surge in the number of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. This is expected to increase the demand for bedding, protective equipment, and cleaning pads, thus increasing the utilization of medical textiles. In addition, governments and companies in the region have been taking decisive steps, such as setting up new and advanced production lines to increase their production capacities for non-wovens. As per data published by European Disposables and Non-wovens Association, non-woven production in Europe was 3.07 million tons in 2020 and grew by about 7.2% from 2019. The estimated turnover in 2020 was USD 11.19 billion. The medical textiles market expanded due to the 118% increase in non-wovens use in medical applications.
Rising investments by governments in the U.S. and Mexico towards increasing the production of personal protective equipment, including face masks, surgical gowns, and protective suits, amid the COVID times, are expected to drive the growth of the North American medical textiles market over the forecast period. However, Canada's growth is expected to be limited as it depends on imports for over 70% of its PPE supplies. In addition, the investments by some small-scale organizations in collaboration with government agencies for promoting local manufacturing of masks and gowns are expected to create new opportunities in the medical textiles market growth. As per the Association of the Non-woven Fabrics Industry (INDA), the North American non-woven capacity increased to 5.552 million tons in 2020, registering a growth of about 0.7 percent compared to 2019. The launch of more than 51 production lines over the past three years and the planned launch of several more lines in 2021 and 2022 will drive the expansion of the medical textiles market over the forecast period.
In Central and South America, the medical textile market growth is expected to be by an increase in surgical procedures in several countries, including Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. Several implantable and non-implantable goods are used in surgical procedures. Brazil witnessed the highest number of surgical procedures globally in 2019 due to the increasing old-age population in the country, coupled with growing trends for enhancing body parts among young and middle-aged people worldwide. Furthermore, the increasing cosmetic surgery industry in Argentina, owing to lower costs compared to countries in North America and Europe, is expected to create new growth opportunities in the Central and South America medical textiles market.
In the Middle East and Africa, people are increasingly opting for cosmetic or beautifying surgeries to improve the appearance of their bodies and faces, which has fueled the expansion of the global market in these regions. The growth in the number of cosmetic surgeries increases the usage of implantable goods for body parts enhancement and replacement of damaged parts and textile-based non-implantable goods for protection of surgery cuts from the outer environment. In addition, several countries from the region, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Lebanon. Egypt and Iran are among the top destinations of choice for cosmetic surgeries. As per a report by Dubai Health Authority, cosmetic surgery is one of the sought-after reasons for medical tourism in the Gulf region. The high consumer disposable income in the Gulf countries is one of the primary reasons for growth in the cosmetics surgery industry in the region, thus benefitting the growth of the medical textiles market in the region.
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