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GIA launches medical study

April 5, 2012

Nonwoven disposables are rapidly making inroads into the medical sector, principally driven by growing consumer awareness against the spread of infectious diseases, according to a new study published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS continue to further fuel demand from hospitals for clean, sanitary and disposable products for safeguarding patients and doctors from such infectious diseases. The stringent standards being imposed by various regulatory agencies globally are also impacting the use of nonwovens positively. Though the healthcare sector is increasingly moving toward non-invasive surgeries, overall impact on the nonwoven disposables market remains miniscule.

With hospitals looking at disposables as necessity—rather than luxury—the nonwovens industry is witnessing developments in new manufacturing, compound and finishing processes. Further gains are predicted for the nonwovens market, as more users switch to disposables each day coupled with newer methods of treatment and care. Currently, the availability of broad range of technologies and fibers allows nonwovens to be produced according to individual needs of vivid applications. In future, newer developments and improvements in the form of hi-tech materials can add to the progress of nonwovens. Airlaid nonwovens are likely to boost demand in the future owing to their economic cost in comparison to other products.

According to the study, the US represents the leading regional market in terms of consumption. With volume of sophisticated hi-tech surgical intervention growing rapidly, Europe is likely to experience high growth in the medical nonwovens sector in the coming years. Growth in developed markets is expected to be sustained by growing proportion of aging population and product innovations. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market for nonwoven disposables. The market for medical nonwovens disposables in China is likely to be upbeat in coming years, as the country moves toward overhauling its healthcare system, buoyed by its expanding economy.

Segment-wise, incontinence represents the largest product segment. In light of the growing aspiration of incontinence sufferers to lead an active life, the market is witnessing a demand for superior incontinence products that address three critical needs—simplicity in usage, comfort and security. Surgical nonwoven products represents the fastest growing segment.

Major nonwoven disposables manufacturers profiled in the report include Domtar Corporation, Covidien, Hogy Medical Co., Kao Corporation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Medline Industries, Mölnlycke Health Care AB, SCA Hygiene Products, The Hartmann Group and UniCharm Corporation.

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