We are incredibly proud to have won the MediWales Innovation Awards Start-up of the Year 2021 and be recognised for the hard work the whole team has put in over the last 18 months. In the words of MediWales:
‘This award was created to recognise promising companies who may be too early stage to show dramatic sales revenues but deserve recognition for the business and/or product development advancement as recognised by the expert judging panel. We wanted to recognise the quality of the organisation and their product at this stage in their development.’
This achievement has reiterated the importance of our mission to provide safe, sterile endoscopy anywhere, and reminds us of the key benefits that single use endoscopes will bring to the industry. We’ve taken this opportunity to highlight the vision that keeps us all motivated – that deemed us award-winning in the eyes of MediWales.
Helping to meet growing demand
The flexible endoscopy market is projected to reach USD 14bn by 2024 from USD 10bn in 2019 at a CAGR of 7.2%1. Global endoscopy volume is scheduled to grow from 70m per year to over 140m by 2026. Now more than ever, endoscopy units are looking for ways to align cost and quality of care while effectively meeting demand. The growth of this market is primarily being driven by the increased demand for endoscopy. This is coming from a variety of different areas including:
- Availability issues: Patient throughput is slow when endoscopes are constantly being cleaned or repaired.
- Increase in GI disease diagnosis: Early-screening initiatives by countries around the world are putting further strain on endoscopy units already struggling to cope with existing procedure numbers. The increase in endoscopic procedures for early diagnosis of GI cancers is expected to offer considerable revenue opportunities to those who can meet demand.
- Growing geriatric population: People are now living longer than ever before which means an entire generation of patients being diagnosed with more chronic diseases.
Advancing minimally invasive procedures for patient comfort
Technological advancements in the endoscopy market are another driving factor for its expected growth. A comparative investigation of reusable and single use flexible endoscopes found that both the clinical and laboratory evaluation showed markedly high performance for single use scopes, and disposable endoscopes may be a reliable and cost-effective approach3. This advancement in the capabilities of single use endoscopes is encouraging news for clinicians who want to improve patient safety during procedures without having to compromise on a quality product. Experts have indicated that these devices have been designed to mimic industry-leading reusable devices while preventing infection transmission, which may help overcome resistance in converting to a new product7. A panel discussion hosted by ‘Endoscopy Now’ highlighted a benefit of single use as being ‘the ability of the design to evolve more quickly than devices that are designed to last for years’8.
Another factor advancing minimally invasive procedures is the ability to offer single use endoscopy procedures in Ambulatory Surgical Centres (ASCs) and acute service providers outside of the hospital environment. The ASCs segment is expected to grow at a significant growth pace. Increasing preference for outpatient surgeries, increase in minimally invasive surgeries and cost-effectiveness of ASC-based endoscopic procedures are key factors enabling a lucrative growth4.
Eliminating the risk of cross-contamination
Current reusable technology has come under mandatory scrutiny for its risk of cross-contamination between patients. In fact, flexible endoscopes are a medical device that has significant issues with contamination and infection. According to the American Journal of Infection Control, as many as 71% of reprocessed endoscopes can contain some form of microbial growth, leading to potentially severe complications2. Bacterial biofilm can form on the interior surfaces of the endoscope throughout its entire length.
Single use endoscopes eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. Each scope is sterile, thus ensuring that every patient receives their own personal scope that has never been in contact with other patients1. The single use aspect of the endoscopes that we are developing offer the cleanest route to preventing patient infections.
Removing reprocessing inefficiencies
A report from 2018 on the top 10 health technology hazards ranked ‘failure to consistently and effectively reprocess flexible endoscopes’ as one of the biggest threats to healthcare delivery and patient health1. According to this study, post-procedural infections in upper GI endoscopy is as high as 3 per 1,0001. Cleaning the scope between procedures requires technicians to perform nearly one hundred manual steps – a process that is vulnerable to error9. Unfortunately, no reprocessing procedure is able to guarantee a completely clean endoscope. Even the design of reusable endoscopes makes it difficult to effectively clean.
But it isn’t just the threat to patient safety that makes reprocessing reusable endoscopes so inefficient. The workload, cost and staff hazards associated with reprocessing are significant, and range between $140 and $280 per endoscope5. With single use technology, no reprocessing is required, eradicating the entire chain of cleaning, surveillance, documentation and repairs that are a major cost for endoscopy units. A study found that ‘the cost-of-use of disposable instruments may be somewhat offset by decreases in the cost of reprocessing’6.
It is great to see our hard work being acknowledged within the industry and we are grateful for the opportunity to further share our journey. We believe single use endoscopes have a future in the effective and safe diagnosis of chronic diseases and cancers, allowing the industry to operate more efficiently and ultimately, save more lives.
1 Endoscopy Equipment Market Global Forecast to 2026 – LINK
2 Sagentia – Designing Single Use Endoscopes – LINK
3 Comparative investigation of reusable and single use flexible endoscopes for urological interventions – LINK
4 Endoscopy Devices Market 2019-2025 – LINK
5 Low-cost disposable endoscope: Pros and cons – LINK
6 Single use duodenoscopes: the next disruptor or passing fad? – LINK
7 Vizient – Medical Device Tech Watch Vol. 2 – LINK
8 GI Endoscopist panel: The future of ERCP is single use – LINK
9 Safer endoscopy through single use endoscopes – LINK