Why single use instruments are better for the healthcare industry?

07/04/2014 14:48

Single use instruments have many benefits in all product cycle phases. From concept to mass production, single use instruments can save costs and time. In the healthcare industry, disposable instruments are replacing the reusable instruments. Lower costs, better functionality, increased safety and higher quality are just some of the advantages.


What are single use instruments?

Single use instruments are instruments which are made for one-time use, and disposed after use. The most common single use instruments (also referred to as disposable instruments) are needles used for suture. Nowadays, single use instruments are a rising trend, and can be found in all areas of medical care – from simple sutures, and all the way to complex laparoscopy surgeries.


What are single use instruments made from?

The possibilities when manufacturing single use instruments are infinite. There are numerous materials which can be used in production of disposable instruments. It is possible to use metal, plastic, different compounds of nylon, plastic and other polymers, and also combinations of material such as plastic and metal for different parts of the instrument. The only limitation on the material is that it must be medical grade material such as nylon 66 or stainless steel metal.


What are the main advantages of single use instruments?

There many aspects to answer this question. The advantages should be examined from the various stakeholders perspective.

From the manufacturer’s point of view:

Disposable instruments are faster to develop – the use of plastic and nylon offers different production methods. Moreover, during the design process it is easier to produce models of the instrument by using 3d printing or CNC machines. Since the model is made in plastic, the final product will be very close to the model which was used for development.

The costs of production are usually lower – except for product design savings (since the process is faster) there is also costs reduction in the production itself. A mold for a plastic instrument can be used tens of thousands of times, producing the exact same piece time after time. In large scale, this reduces costs of production.


From a distributor’s point of view:

Disposable instruments require a constant supply – creating a long term relationship with customers is a top goal of any company, and single use instruments require a supply on a constant basis. While this may be a disadvantage form the customer’s perspective (e.g. hospital), the quality and stability of the production process create a sense of assurance that no quality issues arise.

Single use instruments can be branded easily – a distributor can create an identity of its own, using a specific color or embedding an emblem with its own brand. This advantage is used by manufacturer, but some manufacturers also offer private labels.


From a doctor’s point of view:

The end user, the doctor who is performing the procedure, is the one enjoying most of the benefits of the single use instruments. The sterile ready to use instrument saves the need for a sterilization machine in the clinic. In addition, the ready to use instrument saves time, allowing more patients to be treated by the doctor without fear of cross contamination or waiting for the instruments to be sterilized.


From a patient’s point of view:

The patient can be assured that the instrument is used for the patient only. This kind of assurance is important, especially in personal areas of healthcare such as gynecology of dentistry, which the patient has to be examined and treated regularly.

In addition, in most cases the single use instrument will be made from a material which will feel better for the patient. Metal instruments may be colder to feel, and that may deter patients.


In conclusion, there are many advantages for single use instruments. Want to do a trial run or check the option for single use instruments? Contact us today!