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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI1964
  • Pages :140
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Medical Devices

Global portable steam autoclave market size is projected to reach US$ 2.90 Bn by 2030 from an estimated US$ 1.62 Bn in 2023, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.7% during the forecast period.

Portable steam autoclaves are compact and lightweight sterilization devices that use steam under pressure to sterilize medical and laboratory equipment. There are two main types - tabletop and handheld models. Tabletop autoclaves are larger stationary devices that can sterilize larger equipment loads compared to handheld models. However, both allow for convenient sterilization close to the point of use without requiring a permanent installation.

Portable steam autoclaves provide several advantages over larger stationary autoclaves. They offer mobility and can be easily moved between floors or buildings, allowing for on-site sterilization in various locations such as operating rooms or laboratories. This enhances workflow and turnaround times. Being compact and lightweight, portable autoclaves also save valuable floor space in comparison to permanently installed autoclaves. They are simpler to operate with automatic or preset programs that don't require technical training. This makes sterilization quick and easy for varying equipment loads. A minor disadvantage is smaller chamber sizes that limit load capacity. Strict compliance with periodic maintenance is also important to ensure the safety and efficacy of steam sterilization cycles.

Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market- Regional Insights

  • North America is the largest market for portable steam autoclaves, with a share of 41% in 2022, as there is a strong presence of established key market players such as Getinge, Steris, Belimed, and Tuttnauer who are consistently investing in new product development.
  • Asia Pacific America is the second largest market for portable steam autoclaves, with a share of 28% in 2022. Rapid economic growth and development of the healthcare industry have boosted market opportunities. The shifting focus towards preventive healthcare and rising medical tourism are augmenting the sales volumes. Countries like China, India, and Japan are witnessing increased procurement of portable autoclaves to meet biosafety and biomedical waste management standards. Furthermore, the low production and labor costs make Asia Pacific an attractive outsourcing hub for global autoclave manufacturers. This has spurred localized production and imports in different Asia Pacific nations.
  • Europe is the third-largest market for portable steam autoclaves, with a share of 19.9% in 2022. The growth of this market is being driven due to the growing preference of European hospitals and clinics for compact and space-saving sterilization equipment over traditional large autoclaves. Tabletop autoclaves occupy minimal floor area and are highly versatile for both small and medium load sterilization needs across various departments within healthcare facilities. Their small footprint and mobility allows for easy relocation depending on changing sterilization requirements.

Figure 1. Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Analyst’s View

The global portable steam autoclave market is expected to see steady growth in the coming years due to the increasing adoption of infection control measures across various industries. The healthcare industry will continue to be a key end user of portable steam autoclaves given the stringent sterilization needs. Other industries such as food processing and pharmaceuticals are also driving greater demand.

However, the high initial costs of portable steam autoclaves may limit their adoption to some extent, especially in price-sensitive markets. Ongoing technology advancements to develop lower-cost and more efficient autoclaves could help address this challenge over time. The market also faces restraints around the availability of skilled workforce required to operate autoclaves.

From a regional perspective, North America is anticipated to maintain its leading position in the portable steam autoclave market. Strict regulations regarding sterilization in the region's advanced healthcare sector create sustained opportunities. Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific market is poised to emerge as the fastest-growing regional market due to rising healthcare expenditures and growing awareness about infection control across developing nations.

Overall, the steady expansion of the global healthcare industry, coupled with increasing acceptance of advanced sterilization technologies among other end-use sectors such as food processing, provides a favorable backdrop for the portable steam autoclave market. Further innovation to develop affordable autoclave options is likely to unlock.

Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market- Drivers

  • Rising demand from the healthcare industry: The global portable steam autoclave market is expected to witness significant growth owing to rising demand from the healthcare industry. Portable steam autoclaves find widespread application in sterilizing medical equipment and devices used in various healthcare facilities like clinics, hospitals, pathology labs, etc. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for improved infection control and sterilization practices across the healthcare continuum. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a lack of sterilization facilities and equipment can contribute to the spread of infectious diseases. With healthcare systems coming under immense pressure during the pandemic, there is an increased focus on investing in technologies that can help reduce hospital-acquired infections.
  • Increasing preference for ambulatory surgical centers: Another key factor driving the portable steam autoclave market is the rising preference for ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) over hospital-based outpatient As per the American Hospital Association, around 75% of surgeries performed in the U.S. are now done in ASCs. Compared to hospitals, ASCs offer lower costs, shorter wait times, and focused specialty care. However, ASCs generally have lower budgets than hospitals for equipment and sterilization infrastructure. Portable autoclaves are well-suited for ASCs as they reduce capital expenditure on large, floor-mounted autoclaves and related plumbing requirements. Their ease of operation and proven performance for sterilizing surgical kits and instruments address ASCs' requirements.
  • Portability and compact size offering ease of use: Portability and compact size are significant factors driving the adoption of portable steam autoclaves in the current healthcare environment. Their easy maneuverability and compact design allow for use in various point-of-care applications across multiple settings including clinics, ambulances, dental offices, and surgical centers. This mobility and ergonomic design offers convenience to healthcare workers, as it frees them from being tied to a single location like an on-site sterilization room.
  • Portable autoclaves are finding increasing demand with the rising trend towards more decentralized and community-based healthcare services. Their compact nature supports effective and sterile processing of instruments directly at the point of patient care. This is proving beneficial in several developing nations where access to centralized sterilization facilities can be limited. It also aids in sterilizing medical tools in temporary field care centers set up during disaster or emergency situations.
  • Stringent regulations regarding sterilization: Strict regulations regarding sterilization of medical instruments are a key factor driving the growth of the global portable steam autoclave market. Governments across major countries have implemented stringent rules mandating the sterilization of medical tools before each use to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This comes in the backdrop of a rise in Hospital Associated Infections (HAIs) in recent times which has raised serious health concerns worldwide. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), on any given day, over 1.4 million people worldwide are suffering from infections acquired in hospitals.
  • Sterilizing medical instruments, dental tools, and other heat-tolerant medical equipment using portable steam autoclaves helps ensure complete disinfection and prevent the transmission of diseases from one patient to another. The easy portability and compact size of these autoclaves allow for on-site sterilization in areas where access to a central supply autoclave may not be possible, such as ambulances, surgery centers, and field hospitals. This accessibility and convenience of portable autoclaves have increased their adoption across various point-of-care settings including physicians' clinics, dental clinics, veterinary practices, and ambulatory surgical centers.

Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market- Opportunities

  • Growth in medical tourism in developing countries: Growth in medical tourism in developing countries presents a major opportunity for the global portable steam autoclave market. As healthcare costs continue to rise in developed nations, many patients are looking abroad for affordable yet quality medical care. Countries like India, Thailand, Mexico, and Turkey have established themselves as top destinations for medical tourism due to their modern hospitals, highly trained doctors, and lower costs compared to the U.S. and Western Europe. This trend is expected to continue growing substantially in the coming years.
  • According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, approximately 1 out of 10 medical tourists globally traveled between Asia and the Middle East in 2019. This creates significant demand for portable sterilization devices in private and public hospitals catering to international patients in these developing nations. Portable steam autoclaves provide hospitals flexibility to sterilize instruments in different areas outside the main sterilization department. With more hospitals coming up and existing ones scaling capacities to tap the medical tourism opportunity, the need for reliable and easy-to-use sterilization solutions like portable autoclaves is surging.
  • Emergence of single-chamber autoclaves suitable for small clinics: The emergence of affordable and compact single-chamber autoclaves provides a tremendous opportunity to expand the reach of portable steam autoclaves to small and individual clinics across the world. Previously, dental and medical offices needed larger benchtops or freestanding autoclaves to sterilize equipment which required considerable investment. However, new technological advancements have allowed manufacturers to design self-contained autoclaves that only require a power outlet without any additional plumbing or ventilation installation.
  • These user-friendly and cost-effective single-chamber autoclaves weigh less than 15 kgs, making them highly portable and easy to set up in space-constrained health facilities. They are fast, with cycle times under 30 minutes, eliminating the need for multi-chamber autoclaves. Their small footprint and ease of use particularly suit the needs of individual practitioners, neighborhood clinics, and portable field hospitals. As per the World Bank data, over 50% of healthcare facilities globally are single-doctor practices or have fewer than 10 beds. This enormous pool of potential customers is largely underserved by traditional autoclave models.
  • Untapped rural markets offering scope for penetration: Untapped rural markets in developing regions have a significant potential to drive growth in the global portable steam autoclave market. While portable steam autoclaves have found widespread adoption in urban healthcare setups over the past decade, the penetration in rural and remote locations remains comparatively low. This provides tremendous scope for market expansion.
  • Rural areas in many developing countries suffer from a lack of access to quality healthcare facilities and equipment due to underdeveloped medical infrastructure and supply chains. Portable autoclaves can help address this challenge to some extent as they are affordable, easy to operate and maintain, and do not require constant power supply or advanced technical support which rural locales may lack. Their compact size and lightweight nature allow for transportation to remote locations. This can help improve sterilization practices and reduce infection risks for rural communities. Various government and international efforts are dedicated to improving healthcare access in rural regions. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Global Strategy on Rural Health 2030 aims to promote inclusive and equitable primary healthcare services across rural populations in low and middle-income countries by 2030.

Portable Steam Autoclave Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 1.62 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 8.7% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 2.90 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East: GCC, Israel, and Rest of Middle East
  • Africa: South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Product Type: Tabletop autoclave, Freestanding autoclave, Chamber autoclave, Others (Automatic Autoclave, etc.)
  • By End User: Hospitals, Clinics, Pharmaceutical companies, Research laboratories, Others (Veterinary clinics, etc.)
Companies covered:

Steris, Getinge, Belimed, LTE Scientific. Systec, Tuttnauer, MELAG. Sakura Seiki, Astell, Hanshin Medical, and Priorclave

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising demand from healthcare industry
  • Increasing preference for ambulatory surgical centers
  • Portability and compact size offering ease of use
  • Stringent regulations regarding sterilization
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High cost of autoclaves
  • Complexity in assembling and disassembling some autoclaves
  • Longer sterilization cycles increasing waiting time

Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market- Trends

  • Growing popularity of table-top models: The growing popularity of compact table-top steam autoclaves is having a notable influence on the global portable steam autoclave market. Where traditional steam sterilizers were large stationary devices primarily used in medical facilities, the development of smaller self-contained table-top models has expanded use into research labs, field operations, and even private practices.
  • This shift empowers more diverse end-users by offering a product footprint compatible with space-constrained environments outside of hospitals. Table-top autoclaves are lightweight, battery-powered, and plug-and-play ready—making them portable enough to be deployed virtually anywhere. Their compact design has broad appeal to biologists conducting fieldwork, paramedics and dentists working out of mobile vehicles, as well as cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists wanting an on-site sterilization solution for their minimally invasive treatments. As portable applications continue to emerge, manufacturers are incentivized to optimize steam sterilizers for maximum versatility in non-traditional settings.
  • Increasing preference for autoclaves with advanced features like shorter cycles: The global portable steam autoclave market is witnessing notable changes driven by evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements. There is a growing demand for autoclaves that offer shorter and more efficient sterilization cycles compared to conventional models. This trend is being driven by the medical community that needs to sterilize large volumes of equipment in limited time spans. Especially post-pandemic, healthcare facilities are looking to optimize turnaround times and expand patient care capacities.
  • Portable autoclaves with features enabling quicker cycles are gaining widespread acceptance. Advanced models now take less time for standard sterilization through technologies like vacuum-assisted air removal and intelligent monitoring of critical parameters like temperature and pressure. This allows the processing of 10-15% additional batches in the same operational hours. For large hospitals performing 10-20 sterilization cycles daily, the time savings translate to an extra cycle or two which can meaningfully increase throughput. As per data released by the World Health Organization in 2022, about 40% of global surgical procedures are delayed each year primarily due to bottlenecks in sterilization facilities. Faster autoclaves thus help reduce such delays and expand access to essential interventions.
  • Focus on product innovation to meet customized needs: The trend of focusing on product innovation to meet customized needs is having a significant influence on the global portable steam autoclave market. Portable steam autoclave manufacturers are increasingly recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach does not cater to the diverse and specialized sterilization requirements of various end-users. There is a growing demand for portable steam autoclaves that are tailor-made to address industry-specific or application-specific needs. This has prompted companies to invest more in research and development to come up with innovative new product designs and customized features.

For example, dental clinics need portable autoclaves that can sterilize delicate dental tools and implants efficiently in limited workspace. Healthcare facilities require devices optimized for sterilizing surgical kits and medical equipment on-site with different cycle parameters. Veterinary practices demand portable autoclaves tailored for sterilizing equipment used for large and small animals. Manufacturers are addressing these varying needs by developing product lines with enhanced customization options like chamber sizes, temperature and pressure controls, material types, integration of advanced sensors, and more.

Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market- Restraints

  • High cost of autoclaves: The high cost of autoclaves is greatly restraining the growth of the global portable steam autoclave market. Autoclaves are sophisticated and advanced sterilization devices that require high-quality technical components and precision manufacturing to effectively kill microorganisms by subjecting medical equipment and other items to high-pressure saturated steam at 121°C for 15–20 minutes. Due to these technical complexities, autoclaves come with hefty price tags, ranging from US$ 5,000 to US$ 40,000 depending on the size and features. This high initial investment deters many smaller clinics, pharmacies, dental offices, and bio-tech startups from procuring an autoclave for their sterilization needs.
  • The high cost becomes a major financial burden, especially for budget-constrained public hospitals and community healthcare centers in developing countries. According to data from the World Bank in 2021, out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure is over 60% of total health spending in many low-income countries in Africa and Asia. In such resource-poor settings, purchasing an autoclave requires the allocation of funds that could otherwise be used for direct patient care and investments in other priority medical equipment. This makes autoclaves an unaffordable option for sterilization, limiting the growth of portable autoclave sales.
  • Complexity in assembling and disassembling of some autoclaves: The complexity involved in assembling and disassembling some autoclaves is indeed restraining the growth of the global portable steam autoclave market. Autoclaves that are heavy and bulky can be challenging to assemble and disassemble, especially in resource-constrained settings. Taking them apart for maintenance, repairs or transportation requires technical expertise and manpower that may not always be readily available. This barrier makes such autoclaves less suitable for usage in remote locations or developing countries where portable equipment is preferred given the lack of infrastructure.
  • The complex assembly-disassembly process also raises the cost of maintenance over the lifetime of the autoclave. Frequent disassembly increases the risk of damage to parts. It also means downtime during transfers or repairs. This makes autoclaves that are difficult to assemble-disassemble less cost-effective compared to simpler portable designs. Healthcare facilities and labs in locations with budgetary limitations would be reluctant to invest in heavy equipment given the high maintenance expenditures. This hampers the sales potential of such autoclaves particularly in price-sensitive markets.
  • Longer sterilization cycles increasing waiting time: One of the major factors restraining the growth of the global portable steam autoclave market is the longer sterilization cycles which increase the waiting time. Portable steam autoclaves have standard sterilization cycles that range from 30-60 minutes depending on the type of load being sterilized. This sterilization time is considerably higher compared to other sterilization technologies. The standard 30-minute cycle means doctors and nurses have to wait for that duration before they can use the sterilized equipment for patient procedures. With busy schedules and high patient loads in hospitals and clinics, the waiting period of 30-60 minutes introduced due to steam sterilization can impact workflow and cause delays.
  • This long waiting time leads to fewer number of sterilization cycles being possible in a day. According to data from the World Health Organization, on average a hospital sterilization department in developing countries is able to complete only 4-5 sterilization cycles in a day due to capacity limitations. The 30-60 minute cycle duration restricts the maximum number of cycles and increases the turnaround time for returning sterilized equipment. This has a knock-on effect leading to other procedural delays. For example, if the sterilized equipment from one cycle is not returned on time, it can impact the scheduling of surgeries or procedures that require those medical devices. This also introduces inefficiencies that further restraints adoption and growth prospects of the portable steam autoclave market globally.

Figure 2. Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market Share (%), By Product Type, 2023


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Recent Developments

New product launches/Product Approval

  • In October 2021, Priorclave, an autoclave manufacturer, launched new autoclave groups at Gambica Pavilion, a scientific exhibition, at Medica 2021. There are three core research-grade laboratory autoclave groups such as Priorclave’s BASE range that covers “the basics”: media preparation, waste loads, and sterilizing loose instruments, open containers, and labware. The SMART range is intended for industrial, research, and production labs and facilities, and PERFORMANCE autoclaves are designed for high-throughput operation.
  • In June 2020, Priorclave, an autoclave manufacturer, announced that it had received approval from the SFDA – Saudi Food & Drug Authority for its entire range of research-grade laboratory autoclaves. This is an important development and will enable the company to expand its business in the region further.

Top Companies in Global Portable Steam Autoclave Market

  • Steris
  • Getinge
  • Belimed
  • LTE Scientific
  • Systec
  • Tuttnauer
  • Sakura Seiki
  • Astell
  • Hanshin Medical
  • Priorclave

Definition: A portable autoclave is a device that kills dangerous germs, viruses, fungus, and spores on objects placed inside pressure vessels by applying steam pressure. The objects are heated for a predetermined period of time to the proper sterilizing temperature. For broad-purpose sterilizing, a portable autoclave is utilized.

Frequently Asked Questions

High cost of autoclaves, complexity in assembling and disassembling some autoclaves, longer sterilization cycles, and increasing waiting time are some key factors that can hamper the market growth.

Rising demand from the healthcare industry, increasing preference for ambulatory surgical centers, portability and compact size offering ease of use, and stringent regulations regarding sterilization are expected to drive the market growth

The leading product type segment in the global portable steam autoclave market is tabletop autoclave.

Steris, Getinge, Belimed, LTE Scientific. Systec, Tuttnauer, MELAG. Sakura Seiki, Astell, Hanshin Medical, and Priorclave.

North America dominated the global portable steam autoclave market because key market players are focusing on the launch of new products in the region.

The CAGR of global portable steam autoclave market is expected to be 8.7% from 2023 to 2030.

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