Medical gases and its associated equipment find a broad range of applications in various industries including medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology. On the basis of type, the market is classified into the following two main categories: medical gases and medical gas equipment. Medical gas supply systems in the healthcare facilities are necessary to deliver piped gases, such as oxygen, nitrous oxide, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and medical air, to various divisions of the facility. The supply and pressure of medical gases delivered to a patient is monitored and controlled by central/source alarm systems. It is required in various hospital areas including the general ward, operation theatres, intensive care units, and the recovery room.
The medical gas supply system is connected to the equipment via station outlets. It is necessary to set up a monitoring system to control and maintain a stable supply of gases. Area zone service valves are installed where gas control is required to prevent patients from inhaling contaminated gases or to tackle emergencies like fire. The service valves are positioned at the entry of each area and can be accessed using emergency pull-out windows. Medical gas systems, such as bulk oxygen systems, central supply systems, and carbon monoxide monitors, require regular inspection to keep it safe and cost effective. Also, the inlets and outlets, alarm systems, and maintenance programs of the central supply systems necessitate periodic inspections. In addition, the other facilities including piping, master and area alarms, flexible connectors, automatic pressure switches, and shut-off valves need regular testing and maintenance.
Some of the key players in the market are Air Liquide, The Linde Group, Praxair, Inc., BeaconMedaes, Airgas, Inc., Medical Gas Solutions Ltd., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and Matheson Tri-Gas. Several big and small companies in the market have undertaken strategic agreements and acquisitions. Such initiatives aid companies in expanding their geographical presence, maximizing their market share, and in generating large profits. In March 2016, Praxair, Inc. announced the acquisition of NOxBOX Ltd., an inhaled gas delivery and monitoring instruments manufacturing company; this acquisition would help the former expand its capabilities in intelligent nitric oxide delivery. Also, in June 2015, Air Liquide acquired Baywater Healthcare Ireland Ltd. to expand its home healthcare business in Europe.
All medical gases and its associated equipment are highly regulated by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This guideline explains practices and procedures for compressed medical gas fillers including home respiratory services. Manufacturers are obliged to comply with the rules and guidelines laid down for the manufacturing and marketing of medical gases. A violation of the act leads to court-enforced trials including seizure of the finished product, ingredients, and the equipment; a permanent or temporary ban on the manufacturing or filling of compressed medical gases; and criminal prosecution. If the company is found guilty of violating a provision of this Act, an employee or officer of the company may be fined or be even jailed.
Geographically, North America dominated the market in terms of revenue share in 2016 and is expected to maintain its reign during the forecast period. The existence of sophisticated healthcare infrastructure, with high per capita healthcare expenditure level, propels the demand for medical gases and devices. The presence of manufacturer-friendly organizations, such as Gases and Welding Distributors Association and Compressed Gas Association, supports the market growth. In addition, the large population and rapid economic development in countries, such as India and China, are expected to help the medical gas market in the Asia Pacific region to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.
In-depth report on global medical gases market by Grand View Research: