A new report from Frost & Sullivan says that, although still a niche market, the share of the healthcare sector is continuously rising and presents significant growth opportunities for UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) manufacturers. Market expansion is being driven by strong growth in the IT networks and medical devices segments. Additionally, eastern Europe is emerging as a region of exciting potential, due to rising healthcare expenditure and modernisation efforts, says the report.
Frost & Sullivan has found that the European healthcare UPS markets earned revenues of EUR108 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach EUR216.1 million in 2013.
“The main factor driving the growth of healthcare UPS is the increasing digitalisation and integration of patient information,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Malavika Tohani. “This increase in data transfer means that any power fluctuation or failure can result in data corruption or even data loss if no provision is made for a UPS.”
Currently, digitalisation and integration of patient information have gained significant importance. The aim is to accelerate the pace of information exchange as well as facilitate access to this data by doctors and hospitals in order to provide more efficient patient care. The use of advanced IT resources to manage patient information will help decrease costs by saving clinicians' time, limiting patients' length of stay and reducing the number of inappropriate investigations, among others.
In 2006, the healthcare sector accounted for only 10 per cent of total UPS sales in Europe, making it a very niche market. Moreover, except for patient vicinity and certain medical devices, which require special features, most UPS systems for healthcare are standard off-the-shelf systems. Only a few companies such as Powervar, ONEAC and Clary Corporation in the United States have specific product offerings for the healthcare field.
“Most UPS manufacturers do not have a dedicated approach towards the healthcare vertical,” observes Ms. Tohani. “A majority of the products on their portfolio are suited to a variety of applications and are not specifically targeted toward medical applications.”
To leverage growth potential in the healthcare sector, UPS manufacturers need to work closely with medical equipment OEMs and step up the pace of R&D, while undertaking complicated tests and customising features suited to healthcare applications can further increase the sales of UPS systems to this vertical, says the report.