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Single-Use Endoscopes: A Trend Towards Safer Invasive Surgery
21 Apr 2022

As the global pandemic focuses attention on infection prevention more than ever, rising concerns regarding potential risks of contamination in hospital is driving preference for single-use medical equipment, endoscopes are no exception.
Although reusable endoscopes are always sterilized after use, cross-contamination is still possible if the device isn’t cleaned adequately. Aside from hygienic perspective, another challenge of reusable endoscopes is the difficulty in identifying internal damage.
Compared to its conventional counterpart, single-use endoscopes are known for its added advantages of increased convenience and improved patient safety. Leading endoscopy manufacturers such as Olympus, Boston Scientific or professional single-use endoscopy brand Ambu are also promoting the trend of these single-use devices. The market size of disposable endoscopes is expected to reach USD 6.29 Billion in 2028.
There are already several types of single-use endoscope available on the market, including bronchoscope, rhinolaryngoscopes…and much more. Some, colonoscope and gastroscope for instance, even come with additional water jet instruments. The market of disposable endoscope is expected to register a CAGR of 21.1% in 2028.
3 Challenges of Single-Use Endoscope Connector/Cable Selections
It seems like disposable endoscopes have multiple advantages. However, to have them function like conventional ones only with better performance, manufactures have to consider three factors about the connection systems:
1. Cost
One of the main challenges of disposable devices is maintaining reasonable manufacturing cost while keeping performance on par with reusable instrument. Usually the fine wire cable assembly leads to high labor cost. Appropriate off-the -shelf medical connector with customized locking feature should also be taken into account.
2. Image Transmission Quality
The main objective of endoscope is to provide surgeons high resolution images inside the patient’s body. To balance the trade-off between cost and image quality, smarter computer vision software is implemented to maximize the capabilities of camera systems. In addition, disposable endoscopes also have less risk of image quality deterioration caused by damaged camera since the device is new for every operation.
3. Cable selection
Latency can pose a problem during live surgery. The cable of disposable endoscopes still has to perform good flex & torque for better access, stability, positioning and targeting. Weight, length and waterproof ability of the cable should also be considered. Meanwhile, since endoscopy is an invasive procedure that goes deep into human body, the flexibility and biocompatibility of disposable cable material should still be carefully considered.
About Nextron NXMed Series
Nextron is honored to participate in this trend by providing the world’s leading endoscopy brands with reliable high-speed and biocompatible connection solutions.
NxMed Series is a turnkey cabling/connector solution designed mainly for single-use endoscopes and catheter, the series has been adopted by major players with great feedback.
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