A medical device refers to an instrument, equipment, implant, or apparatus used to diagnose, prevent, or treat diseases through a physical process. A protection film helps prevent external influences from entering medical devices and adversely affecting them. Protection films, such as thermoplastic polyurethane, offer strong resistance towards water, fungus, and abrasion. Traditionally, the healthcare industry used metal and glass packaging components to protect medical devices from the outside environment. Currently, the industry relies on high-barrier plastic films, which are composed of single polymers, laminations, metalized films, and various specialized coatings for better product protection. Over the last decade, paper was the most commonly used material for medical device packaging. Currently, the use of plastic films has increased significantly.
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Protection films for medical devices can be segmented by type into: single films, laminations, and coextrusions films. On the basis of material of construction, protection films are classified as PVC, low-density polyethylene, polyethylene-cellophane, thermoplastic polyurethane, and others. On the basis of application, protection films for medical devices are classified as:surgical and medical instruments, ophthalmic devices, dental devices, and others.
North America is the largest market for protection films for medical devices, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. In terms of volume, Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market. China and India hold the key for future market trends in protection films for the medical devices market owing to large population base and growing health care industry in these countries.
Some of the major drivers of protection films for the medical device market include stellar growth of healthcare industry, adherence to regulatory standards, and increased technology adoption in protection films. Globally, governments are spending more money to provide better healthcare services. For instance, the U.S. has the highest per capita healthcare spending in the world. In 2011, the U.S. per capita healthcare spending was 17.9% of its GDP or USD 8,362. Overall, healthcare spending in the U.S is growing at a rapid rate. Overall healthcare spending stood at USD 3 trillion in 2012, which rose to USD3.8 trillion in 2014. Similarly, other developed countries such as France, Germany, and Japan are also increasing spending on healthcare. Healthcare spending is also rising among developing countries such as India and China, which are focusing on providing better healthcare services to their large population bases. This may led to an increase in the medical devices market, which, in turn, is expected to drive the market for protection films for medical devices.
Some of the major companies operating in this market include DUNMORE Corporation, UFP Technologies, Inc., Argotec LLC, Specialty Coating Systems, Inc., The 3M Company, Berry Plastics Corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Chesapeake Limited, Klockner Pentaplast Group, Clondalkin Group Holdings B.V., Sigma Medical Supplies Corp., SteriPack Group, Oliver Products Company, and Amcor Limited.