Searching for the optimal medical cart for your facility can be a long process, especially if you are unaware of the industry trends. The medical field—and its equipment—is changing at an astronomical pace. To keep your company at the forefront of these updates, you will want to read widely, apply liberally, and innovate often.
Medical Cart Usages
Medical carts are utilized for many purposes that go far beyond the medical field, as they are now used in warehouses, offices, and other businesses.
Within the healthcare field, these hospital carts allow the smooth transfer of equipment throughout the facility and into storage. There are a variety of drawers and racks that can carry medications, linen, and devices used for medical procedures. Also, a medical laptop cart allows simplified access to patients’ medical records, test results, and simple data entry that supports more accurate hospital records.
Outside of the medical field, medical carts are used to transport heavy equipment, support the shipping industry, and assist minor incidences that do not need hospitalization. Often, these medical carts are powered, prevent injury, and reduce shipping times.
Now, that the usages of medical carts are clear, let’s discuss the market trends of these devices.
Medical Cart Analysis
According to recent analyses that looked at the growth of the medical cart market from 2018 to 2026, the market will grow at a rate of 13.9% until 2026. The medical supply cart market topped $611 million in 2017. At its current rate of growth, this number could reach $1,512 million by 2026. So, there is a vast market place for these versatile and customizable devices.
Factors Driving Increases in the Medical Cart Market
The primary growth in medical cart sales is their portability and their shift into other sectors. Currently, a medical rolling cart can be used in the medical field, warehouse, office space, and a variety of others. This multipurpose functionality, especially in the healthcare sector, offers a lot of convenience for medical professionals.
Many factors that support this growth are listed below.
- Increased Safety for Patients
With emergency and non-emergency equipment on-hand, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals can assess a patient’s condition and respond in real-time. In addition, many of these medical carts are built with locking mechanisms to ensure professionals are the only ones with access to medications and other equipment.
- Greater Need for Surgical Staff Members
Many injuries require surgical correction, as there is an increase in musculoskeletal ailments. As healthcare facilities employ more surgeons and their support staff, they need a variety of medical carts, including those used for:
- Medical Procedures
- Transporting equipment
- Data Entry (features electronic equipment)
- Significant Revenue Spent on Infrastructure
With the importance of well-funded healthcare growing at a rapid pace, the focus then shifted to support the infrastructure. To assist patients’ recovery, investments in the infrastructure of healthcare facilities became the norm. Not only did this apply to the general upkeep, but it also encompassed ramps, braille, deaf/hard of hearing devices, and other technology used by those with disabilities. While healthcare facilities are created for healing, many were not equipped with the technology to support those with disabilities in the past. Much of this lack of access has been fixed, and disability-friendly infrastructure has been integrated into mainstream designs.
- Technological Innovations
Technology is a core part of the physician-client relationship. Whether the physician is recording biometrics, performing invasive surgery, or collecting information, using the latest technology is essential.
Currently, breakthrough technology in the medical field includes robot-assisted surgery, genome mapping, simplified access to digital records, and assistive devices that can effortlessly lift bed-ridden patients. All of these advances save time for physicians and nurses, so they are free to diagnose ailments, provide excellent patient care, and remove mundane tasks from their workload. A deeper connection between physicians, nurses, other support staff, and their patients is crucial to the healing process.
- A Push for Electronic Medical Records
Over time, a massive push for digital records has swept across the world. With this trend came the invention of a hospital cart that could carry digital equipment such as laptops, printers, and scanners. These features prompted a much higher need—and price tag—for standard medical carts.
Currently, digital medical records are the standard in 90% of healthcare facilities, and with that is a significant need for medical laptop carts on wheels. To support physicians and nurses further, these carts are becoming more portable and advanced. They can keep up with the demands placed on them in the fast-paced healthcare environment.
Factors Inhibiting Growth in the Medical Cart Market
While there are fewer factors slowing growth in the medical cart market than those that support it, here are some that exist.
- Underqualified Workforce
Though the hospital cart technology may be growing at an exponential rate, that does not automatically mean the workforce is keeping pace. One factor that slows the sales of medical carts is an underqualified workforce. Many carts, today, feature equipment that may need training or certification to operate. A shortage of highly skilled employees may limit the amount of money invested in medical devices as they may not be adequately handled.
- Decreased Funds
Although healthcare is a fundamental aspect of a healthy society, it is not always given the priority it needed. Often, there is limited revenue directed to hospitals, long-term facilities, and other healthcare venues. This reality negatively affects much of the patient care as there may not be enough beds available, proper medication, time, or devoted staff to support those who are ill.
- Expensive Altered Medical Carts
Purchasing a refurbished medical cart is an option, but many companies prefer to buy new items. These often come with a high price tag due to their production costs. This decision can lead to higher costs and lower the market share of medical carts.
In reality, refurbished equipment is an excellent option to add devices to your healthcare facility.
- Market Share by Country
As of this writing, North America contributes the most to the medical cart market share. This is a combination of up-to-date operations that are present throughout the reimbursement and admissions process for patients, modern IT systems, and electronic medical records that are standard practice for healthcare facilities.
Europe holds the second largest share of the medical cart market. This fact is supported by its support of the usage of developing country’s usage of medical carts and an uptick in chronic diseases.
The third region is the Asia Pacific, which is creating environments that offer greater patient safety in health care facilities and throughout the community.
China will also experience a rise in the market share as its economy thrives, more funds are allotted to its healthcare system, and reformation of hospital policies occur as China’s population ages.
Fourth, the Middle East and Africa. Both of these regions hold lower market shares because of limited per capita income and a shortage of well-trained medical staff. Over time, and with support, they may be able to fill this gap.
Which Medical Carts Were Purchased the Most?
Emergency medical carts dominated over other types of carts in 2017. It is predicted that these will continue to lead the way as time goes on. Used in emergency vehicles, in hospital facilities, and within patients homes, these easy-to-clean devices are fully-equipped to support emergencies.
Other factors that boost emergency medical carts over others is their portability, ergonomics, and manoeuvrability.
As far as materials, plastic and metal were preferred over wood. Plastic is a cost-effective option when creating hospital carts and other equipment. For other plastic and metal, there is a vast expanse of raw materials that can be used to develop highly technical carts.
Medical Cart Technology That is Not as Well-Known as Others
Many innovations have been created for the medical cart industry, but some highly advanced technologies or terminology may not be well-known by the general public.
One such medical cart is a telehealth cart. This cart features a large screen that supports a face-to-face conversation with a physician. Allowing both visual and auditory links to patients, these specially designed hospital carts will enable a physician to speak to more patients, discuss issues as they occur, and diagnose ailments that may not need the physician to be present.
In addition to providing cost-savings for health care facilities, a telehealth cart may also reduce the costs of a doctor’s visit for patients.
Point of Care Carts
If a patient needs a medical test, this hospital cart will be utilized. A point of care cart holds a variety of electronic equipment to support record-keeping and allows for immediate data entry. As those who administer diagnostic tests must move around throughout the day, this lightweight medical cart is an excellent choice. Often, these carts are equipped with a mouse, monitor, keyboard, and a mobile power source.
Where Medical Cart Technology is Heading in the Future
The financial market for medical cart technology is growing at a significant rate and so are their innovations.
- Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology System
Despite the many breakthroughs that have come about in the medical cart industry, the battery still lags. Often, the battery in a hospital cart does not last a full shift, must be monitored throughout the day, and when the battery malfunctions at all, the cart can no longer be used. Should these batteries break, they will need specialized support to fix them. So, no one with the healthcare facility can restore the medical cart to working condition during a shift.
These problems have been remedied with the Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology System. Boasting a battery charge of 6-10 hours, the ability to hot-swap a battery with one that has been charging in an outlet, a silent indicator that lights up yellow when the battery is low or dying, and a small, lightweight pack that is easy to change, this system is the forefront of medical cart battery systems.
With this system, all-day shifts will be complemented by an all-day medical cart.
- Kinetic Energy
Researchers are working on batteries that use kinetic energy to recharge. As nurses and other health professionals move throughout the health care facility, the energy from their movements would be transferred to the medical cart’s battery. Studies are ongoing to perfect this technology, but once it is complete, this will solve the issue of power consumption during a shift.
In summary, the medical cart market is a thriving one. Over eight years it is expected to grow both in usage and revenue. With an estimated growth rate of 13.9%, these devices are expected to feature in many fields and not just healthcare.
The most popular cart in use today is the emergency cart. It has been designed to be lightweight, easy to manoeuvre, and due to these factors, it is responsible for many saved lives.
Growth in this market is aided by improvement in healthcare in underdeveloped countries, ageing populations in China, modern technology being utilized in North America, and unfortunately, more chronic diseases. As of 2018, the country that led the way in the market share is North America, with Europe and the Asia Pacific following. The Middle East and Africa have low numbers in this regard, but as their healthcare system improves, they should contribute a more extensive section of this market.
Finally, as technology advances further, the possibility of using your energy to power a battery grows closer. Researchers from many countries are collaborating to bring this technology to the public. When this technology is viable, it will revolutionize the healthcare field and many other sectors. These breakthroughs may assist communities by monitoring health on an ongoing basis, so physicians receive real-time data on their patients. Consistent data can prevent many health issues from worsening.
Currently, innovations in the medical cart market are promising. With the Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology System, the process of having to swap batteries when using a hospital cart will be significantly reduced. Rather than having to contact a technical specialist, nurses and other healthcare professionals can remove and replace the battery.
Medical carts have come far from where they began. There are many options available to benefit your patients and staff. Finding a quality medical supply cart with a long-lasting battery will greatly enhance the workflow of your company.
Scott-Clark provides reliable cart power and battery management systems, point of care medication work stations, and offers a patented Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology System. Contact us today by calling or filling out our convenient online form.