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The Growing Demand for Healthcare Labeling October 3th, 2022

The Growing Demand for Healthcare Labeling
Seize opportunities to provide new products and solutions that overcome challenges.

The healthcare and laboratory labels market is poised for growth. Future Market Insights (FMI) predicts the market will grow at a 4.9 percent CAGR from USD 9.2 billion in 2022 to USD 13.5 billion in 2030. In addition, FMI anticipates that Europe will see notable healthcare labeling market expansion, particularly in the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Germany, and France.

What’s Driving Healthcare Labeling Market Growth? 

Several factors are driving market growth, including expanded product development in advanced pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals (foods with health benefits).  

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness about the spread of diseases by touching surfaces or spending time close to another person, particularly in healthcare facilities. Labels can help minimize contact between patients and healthcare professionals during care. For example, healthcare workers can scan labels or patient wristbands from a distance, and patients can scan QR codes to access information or initiate co-pays with their smartphones.  

Healthcare labels are also vital to accurate, consistent information provided to laboratories with tissues or blood samples for laboratory testing. Furthermore, they enable streamlined and precise recordkeeping throughout the chain of custody. Automating data collection with labels can also ease the burden created by staff shortages, saving time and minimizing errors, even when fewer health professionals are available.  

Also, as more care is provided in patients’ homes, labels can help confirm that patients have received the proper medications and medical devices. Labels can also provide information on the origins and histories of medicines, supplies, and equipment, providing transparency to environmentally and socially conscious consumers.  

There’s a Growing Demand for Stronger, Temperature-Resistant Labels 

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FMI reports that although paper-based labels will continue to be the most commonly used, accounting for about 65 percent of the healthcare label market, solution providers will find demand for other types of labels.  For example, due to their strong adhesive properties, polyolefin labels will represent USD 1.45 million between 2022 and 2030.  

Additionally, the need to store COVID-19 vaccines at extremely low temperatures has increased the demand for labels with adhesives that perform in cryogenic conditions. There is also a growing demand for temperature-sensing label solutions based on chemicals that change color when exposed to certain temperatures over time. They provide a visual cue that a vaccine or medication is no longer viable or it’s unsafe to use.  

Smart Healthcare Labels Leveraging RFID fill a Vital Niche 

FMI reports that the global smart label market is also growing, at a CAGR of 9.6 percent, from USD 9.5 billion in 2022 to USD 24.8 billion by 2030. Smart labels leveraging RFID tags can store several kilobytes of data, such as a Unique Identification Number (UIN) for medical devices or shipments, the origin of materials, conditions during transport, or data from clinical trials.  

RFID technology does not require a line of sight to read a tag like barcode labels. An RFID reader can read hundreds of tags each second, increasing supply chain efficiency, lowering operating costs, and enabling real-time stock and inventory data.  

In addition, pharmaceutical and Medtech companies can use smart labels to combat counterfeiting. The labels can contain information that verifies their authenticity and are much more difficult to duplicate than barcodes.  

Healthcare organizations have numerous options for smart label technologies. Active RFID tags include a battery and transmit a signal to a reader, and unpowered, passive tags use the reader to collect data. Also, low-frequency tags are available that overcome the challenge of interference from liquids or metals, and high-frequency tags can provide high memory capacity. Healthcare smart label applications can also use near-field communication (NFC) technology that only reads the label when it’s within a few centimeters of the reader. The applications also can use ultra-high frequency RFID technology, which is lower priced than other options and often used in supply chain applications.   

Overcome Healthcare Labeling Challenges22-Zebra-Healthcare-Q3C1-Downloadable-(EN)

Solution providers can add value to their offerings by helping clients overcome healthcare labeling pain points. First, location-specific regulations and multiple languages across Europe can add complexity and costs to managing labeling. Raw material availability and rising energy prices could also result in shortages and rising label prices. Planning can help you continue delivering consumables for healthcare labeling and offer solutions to manage complex compliance requirements.  

Start the conversation with your clients about their needs for healthcare labeling solutions and options that can address their specific needs. Whether your client needs labeling treatments that must be stored at extremely cold temperatures, addressing complex labeling requirements for pharma distribution across Europe, or enabling data capture from hundreds of items at a time or from a patient wristband at a distance, meet this critical demand.

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