COVID-19 Impact on Global Medical Face Shield Market in Healthcare Industry
The first case of COVID-19 Pandemic was found in Wuhan, China. This pandemic has influenced the whole planet with its major impacts on the economy and businesses across globe. The COVID-19 spread worldwide in unexpected ways due to its high infectious and contagious nature and lack of availability of its vaccine. As a result, the greatest medical challenge in the 21st century is yet to be faced by physicians worldwide. Though emergence of the virus can be tracked back to Asia, many European countries along with U.S. have been struck massively by the pandemic. The virus has spread across all regions ranging from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa up to South America. The COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) as it has created a negative impact on the regions globally. Various countries announced the complete lockdown in the countries such as the U.S., Germany, India and China among more after the declaration of the pandemic in order to decrease its spread. The contagious nature of COVID-19 has increased the demand of medical face shield among people of various professions. According to the situation, the report of 28 July 2020 by WHO stated 16,341,920 cases of corona has been reported globally and 650,805 patients are dead due to the coronavirus. The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a huge impact on the healthcare industry majorly the medical face shield market.
IMPACT ON DEMAND
The COVID-19 pandemic has lifted the medical face shield industry from its niche pedestal to the mainstream sector. Even before the pandemic, surgical face masks have proved influential in ensuring first-line security against many deadly epidemics in the form of airborne diseases such as Flu, SARS and Zika Virus. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has further expanded the role of medical face shields in various domains. Several companies operating in other domains are eager to enter and some have already entered the landscape of the medical face shield to increase their revenue by meeting the emergent need of protective equipment to stay safe and protected from the virus infection.
In May 2020, Ripclear, manufacturer of advanced protective films for sports eyewear launched V2 Shield, designed in order to protect personnel battling the COVID-19 outbreak including nurses, police, EMS workers, and other front-line staff.
In May 2020, BAUER Hockey, LLC, a leading manufacturer of hockey equipment’s retooled its manufacturing in order to manufacture medical face shields for healthcare workers and people endangered due to the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic.
In April 2020, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd retooled its Detroit manufacturing facility for producing medical personal protection equipment’s including medical face shields for the localized frontline healthcare workers along with infected masses.
In March 2020, ISAAC BUDMEN INDUSTRIES LLC, a 3D printer manufacturing firm has redirected it 3D printing operations into manufacturing medical face shields in order to meet the increasing demand of PPE due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other organizations such as Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has recommended the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) which includes face shield and face masks. Since the effectiveness of protective equipment increases when both face masks and face shields are worn by the person, therefore they have been adopted in large number by people across globe. Nevertheless, face masks are thought to be more effective in alleviating the spread of respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which will serve to eliminate droplets and eye spread. Many scientific studies have showed the high effectiveness of medical face shield in conjugation with the face masks. Therefore the significant rise in the demand of medical face shields could be experienced by the key market players.
Medical face shields are made up of various materials such as polycarbonate, propionate and cellulose acetate among more but the demand of polycarbonate based medical face shield is high as compared to others. Moreover, the fear of contamination has also surged the demand of disposable medical face shield as compared to the reusable face shields. Since, the hotspot of COVID-19 pandemic was Asia-Pacific region; the medical face shield market is most rapidly growing in this region.
Further rise in the demand of medical face shield is due to the heavy penalties imposed by the government of various regions for the violation of safety regulations of covering their face. This have further escalated the demand and adoption of medical face shields by the workers in industries like chemical, construction, oil & gas, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing to prevent fatal accidents and occupational injuries at the workplace. Such accidents are induced by dangers that occur due to the complexity of the job and the operating climate. In the chemical industry, various chemicals produced can harm workers through direct contact with the skin. Inadvertent absorption and inhalation of gases, vapors and dust can also affect staff. The PPE for the pharmaceutical industry contains face shields to avoid oil splashes and harmful particulate entering directly into the respiratory systems.
The enormous benefits and application of medical face shield in various industries along with its capability to provide full face protection and properties like reusability, easy cleaning and no fear of shortage of raw material are anticipated to fuel the growth of medical face shields market.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY
The COVID-19 situation has led to an overall disrupted supply chains for every market. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and its subsequent impact on restrictions on trade and movement of goods has resulted in a shutdown of vast portions of the global economy, resulting in disrupted supply chains due to limited materials and workforce, and slowdown or stopping of manufacturing. However, several companies are retooling for priority manufacturing to produce essential medical supplies and equipment such as ventilators, face masks and medical face shields. The maximum companies which have retooled belong to the business like printing, upholstery and sewing among more. These businesses already used some or the other raw material which is used in order to make medical face shields like acetate sheets in 3D printing, foam in upholstery and elastic ribbon in sewing and other. In this way the supply of the emergent medical face shields have been maintained by various regions.
The trade restrictions have left no choice but making domestic manufacturing of essential medical devices a necessity. During the pandemic, as the demand increases, counterfeiting and price gouging of imported goods increase as well.
In order to meet the increasing demand of the people across globe various initiatives are being taken by the government, many companies and research institutes.
In March 2020, the department of mechanical engineering of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has launched a new technique for mass manufacturing of medical face shields in order to meet the high demand for disposable face shields by the healthcare professionals during the problematic time of COVID-19 pandemic.
KEY INITIATIVES BY MARKET PLAYERS DURING COVID-19
In June 2020, 3M is streamlining the supply in order to meet the demand of medical face shields in U.S. by shifting their focus and production lines for the development of medical face shields to meet the ever-increasing need of healthcare professionals.
In April 2020, KCWW, a leading manufacturer of clinical solutions for hygiene and more announced to donate USD 8 Million in donations in order to support COVID-19 relief efforts. This donation done by the company during the critical time of COVID-19 pandemic increases its credibility in the market.
In March 2020, Ford Motor Company underwent partnership with 3M and GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY in order to develop respirators, ventilators and face shields. This partnership by the companies will aids in meeting the demand of medical face shields by people during the time of COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, Dimensional Innovations with North Kansas City-based InStore Design Display and the University of Kansas' Center for Design Research in order to manufacture medical face shields and meet the demand of supply of medical safety equipment.
The impact of the novel COVID-19 virus is expected to leave a long-lasting impact on each industrial sector. The outbreak of COVID-19 prompted citizens to deal with confusion regarding the virus and its management. The virus poses risk not just with human life but has caused economic distress and severe emotional strain. It produced a ripple effect that gave rise to a new collection of requirements and needs that were not needed earlier. The one of the need being the medical face shields. Earlier the medical face shields were restricted to few medical procedures and industries which involves hazardous chemical use among more. However, the highly contagious nature of virus and its ease of spread via droplets or even fomites to be known to some extent, the demand of medical face shields have escalated in the market.
The growing prevalence of these infectious diseases has necessitated the need for a stable healthcare network and adequate emergency medical services (EMS). This has boosted spending in medical services around the globe. The highly contagious nature of the illness has necessitated the need for personal safety devices to discourage healthcare workers from being contaminated with the infection, In fact, staff delivering critical care during the lockout placed in various countries to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and are forced to wear surgical face masks along with face shields in order to secure them. These factors are fueling the growth of medical face shield market.
Although, development in the medical face shield market would be highly reliant on therapeutic approaches to tackle COVID-19, even after the vaccine has become effective, the strategy is likely to remain preventive. In general, customizable face shields may become a possibility, particularly when children go back to school. Once vaccinations are accessible on a wide scale, the usage of face shields and face masks may stay strong. Nevertheless, the long-term market outlook remains steady, because citizens are likely to take a preventive approach.
Despite the indication of a drug or vaccination on the horizon, the pandemic is here to live for a considerable amount of time. As a consequence, wearing surgical masks and face shields would become a common trend thereby increasing the development and growth of medical face shields market.