Before anaesthesia, sedating a patient was a very difficult and tedious task. The sedating agents like chloroform were dangerous and had long-term side effects. Anaesthesia made sedation easy but it still required high accuracy in terms of dosage and monitoring.
With the use of anaesthesia machines, sedating patients became easier. The electrical and computer controlled components of anaesthesia machines offered accuracy in dosage distribution and sedation monitoring.
Anaesthesia became an important tool in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Patients who need endo-tracheal intubation were given general anaesthesia before the procedure to suppress the gag reflex without feeling pain. However, with more Covid-19 patients’ influx than ventilators available in intensive care units, many doctors repurposed anaesthesia machines to help patients breathe. This increased the demand for anaesthesia machines across the globe. According to a report by Future Market Insights, the anaesthesia machines market grew at 5.7% CAGR and is projected to achieve sales of US$ 2.4 Bn by the end of 2027.
In this blog we discuss how anaesthesia machine is making surgeries less painful and enabling better patient care in post pandemic world.
Repurposed anaesthesia machines saving lives of critically ill patients
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the functioning of the healthcare sector. It exposed the unhealthy ratio of number of health care systems to the number of people seeking treatment for various ailments.
The growing number of patients requiring intensive care and ventilation during pandemic, coupled with the elderly population suffering from pre-existing chronic ailments put tremendous pressure on the hospital resources.
As people suffering from chronic ailments were more prone to getting infected by the virus, the number of pneumonia cases increased significantly especially among elderly.
In certain pneumonia cases, patients were in unbearable pain due to respiratory system failure.
Though it was not a recommended procedure, medical experts and doctors used modified anaesthesia machines to treat critically ill patients who were in desperate need of ventilator.
The modified anaesthesia machine mixed various medical gases with extreme precision to ensure that the patient is pain-free and immobile during intubation and treatment. This advance machine continuously combines and delivers the following gases for general anaesthesia:
- Life-sustaining oxygen
- Nitrous Oxide, a safe and rapidly absorbed inhalant sedative.
- Anaesthetics such as isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane, and halothane
- Medical Air
Pressure transducers, flow meters, vaporizers, and other instruments ensured proper mixing and introduction of gases. Once the procedure was completed or as patient recovered, the mixture was administered in a controlled manner as the patient regains consciousness.
Modern anaesthesia machines to make chronic pain manageable
Although anaesthesia is given by doctors and anaesthetists, the complications that can arise from giving less or more anaesthesia can cause immense pain to the patients. Thus, hospitals are showing greater inclination towards adopting technologically advanced anaesthesia machines.
These machines allow pain-free administration of anaesthetics and oxygenation process which is otherwise a painful procedure. Health care systems are leveraging the use of anaesthesia machines by integrating them with EEG and saturation machines. These machines give real time results to the anaesthetist. This helps the concerned person to administer the correct dosage of anaesthesia.
Scientists are working on miniaturising anaesthesia machine to the size of microchips. These advance micro anaesthesia delivery devices can be inserted in the nerves and depending upon the requirement will delivery dose of anaesthesia in the body. This will make chronic pain management fairly easy.
What features make anaesthesia machines so popular in medical community?
- Portability and miniaturisation of anaesthesia machines are playing a key role in the increasing adoption of the same in the healthcare sector. In spite of the decrease in size, anaesthesia machines deliver correct variable and flow rate.
- Anaesthesia machines can be customised according to the demand of the end user. Manufactures of anaesthesia machines are offering split-screens that have the ability to display spirometry loop, EP and EEG at the same time.
- Anaesthesia machines have an in built alarm systems that are categorised in the form of colour and audio tone.
- The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) has augmented the use of anaesthesia machines. AI has the capability of storing data and eliminating unnecessary information. This, in turn, has increased the pace of workflow at hospitals.
Key developments in the anaesthesia machine market
Anaesthesia machines are undergoing rapid change according to the need of health care sectors. Manufacturers are focusing on investing in research and developments by simulating and understanding various real life scenarios. For instance, Dragerwerk AG’s Persues A500 has the ability to train young anaesthetists and can improve patient safety in the room.
Furthermore, the integration of artificial intelligence in anaesthesia machines is making data collection easy for future references. For instance, General Electric Company has designed two apps named Agent Cost Dashboard and Checkout Dashboard. The first app helps in controlling the wastage of anaesthetic gas by delivering only the required amount of gas to the patients. Checkout Dashboard is helping to perform more number of surgeries as it tracks daily equipment checks and cuts down helps alerts doctors in advance.
Future of anaesthesia machines
Doctors are focusing on integrating traditional methods with modern technology to offer the best treatments to patients. Although artificial intelligence and technological advancements have made sedating patients safe, doctors still believe in personally supervising treatments. Despite its safety, doctors stress on presence of anaesthesia personnel to be available at all times.
Most machines today support continuous flow anaesthesia systems designed to control the continuous and accurate flow of a medical gas diluted with an anaesthetic gas of a certain concentration. Anaesthesia system technology delivers an uninterrupted controlled delivery of anaesthetic gas to the patient.
However, integration of internet of things, artificial intelligence with anaesthesia systems will drive the adoption of anaesthesia systems in the medical industry.
As the world is recovering from the pandemic, physicians and technology developers will be developing robotic anaesthesia machines for providing precise doses of anaesthesia to patients without any human intervention.
Robotic anaesthesia machines will reduce work stress, ensure accuracy and reduce post-operative complications. Rise in medical tourism along with nanotechnology based features will be proving to be a game changer in the healthcare sector.
Author Bio: Saurabh Sharma, General Manager Healthcare Research at Future Market Research at Future Market Insights
Saurabh is the General Manager for Healthcare Research domain at ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm Future Market Insights (FMI). The award-winning firm is headquartered in Dubai, with offices in the US, UK, and India. MarketNgage is the Market Research Subscription Platform from FMI that assists stakeholders in obtaining in-depth research across industries, markets and niche segments. You can connect with Saurabh on LinkedIn.
Future Market Insights (FMI), is an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting market research company. FMI is a leading provider of market intelligence and consulting services, serving clients in over 150 countries; its market research reports and industry analysis help businesses navigate challenges and make critical decisions with confidence and clarity amidst breakneck competition. Now avail flexible Research Subscriptions, and access Research multi-format through downloadable databooks, infographics, charts, and interactive playbook for data visualisation and full reports through MarketNgage, the unified market intelligence engine powered by Future Market Insights.