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The single-use device reprocessing and remanufacturing market is an estimated $200+ million business and growing fast thanks to cost containment pressures and the waning of early controversy surrounding the practice. By nearly any measure--including the number of facilities, number of approved products, and dollars both spent and saved--the SUD reprocessing industry is making a noteworthy impact on health care delivery in the US.
As health care increasingly becomes a high-tech industry, hospitals are undergoing a transformation of necessity, and facilities are doing their best to keep up with state-of-the art tools that alter the way business is conducted. When new technology is mentioned, issues surrounding the development of electronic medical records, or the latest medical devices, easily come to mind, but there is something going on in hospital materials management departments that is as important and will have as big an impact on the industry.
The popularity of DPC's random-access immunoassay system, the Immulite 2000, has helped the company become a significant player in the highly competitive automated immunoassay market. But DPC's benefited from some good luck--namely the misfortunes of top player Abbott Diagnostics and the slow efforts by other competitors to step into the gap left by Abbott. DPC's dilemma is whether it can maintain its narrow focus as Abbott re-emerges and other competitors get stronger.
Early efforts to define the opportunity for e-commerce identified the problem--an inefficient hospital supply chain--but failed to prove that e-commerce is necessarily the answer. Now, Novation and Neoforma, a leading hospital group and its e-commerce partner, have released an industry-wide look at Internet-enabled supply chain economics, done by consultants Arthur Andersen, hoping to prove the value to both providers and suppliers of widely implemented e-commerce.
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