Emerging Technologies

15 Biggest Single-Use Endoscopy Stories of 2021

Infection prevention, health economics, and the growing adoption of single-use endoscopes were among the themes of our most-read stories this year.

Communications issued by the FDA make multiples appearances in our top-read stories of 2021. Other notable trends included the transition to single-use endoscopes and analyses of their cost-effectiveness. As always, preventing infection was also a leading interest to our readers.

Here is the complete list of the 15 most-read stories from this year on Single-Use Endoscopy. Sign up for our weekly newsletters here.

  1. 5 Reasons Demand for Single-Use Bronchoscopes Expected to Grow

The demand for single-use bronchoscopes is expected to grow over the next decade as the number of people living with critical respiratory health conditions rises worldwide, according to a new report.

A report from Transparency Market Research identifies cost effectiveness and infection control advantages as key factors driving the forecasted growth of single-use bronchoscopes.

  1. DDW 2021 Recap: Is It Time to Switch to Single-Use for ERCP?

The introduction of two single-use duodenoscopes and other partially disposable models for use in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in the last 18 months has sparked an abundance of new research and debate.

This was especially clear during the 2021 Digestive Disease Week, held virtually for the second consecutive year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. FDA Updates Safety Guidance for Reusable Bronchoscopes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated a safety communication on reprocessing flexible bronchoscopes and is recommending that healthcare providers consider using single-use bronchoscopes when there is increased risk of spreading infection and when treating COVID-19 patients.

  1. Innovative Duodenoscope Designs Reviewed

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Technology Committee recently released an overview of innovative duodenoscope technologies that have hit the market since August 2019.

The March 2021 report discusses new advancements in duodenoscope design that have emerged since August 2019 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended an industry switch to partially or fully disposable devices. The FDA is seeking to curb the potential for exogenous infection transmission during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).

  1. PPE in Reprocessing: Vital for Safety and Eliminating Endoscope Contaminants

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is vital to keep endoscope reprocessing staffers safe. Used incorrectly, however, and PPE can undo the important work of endoscope disinfection.

That’s why adequate surveillance of endoscope reprocessing should include checks on proper PPE usage.

  1. Urology Podcast Details 3-Month Single-Use Trial

Dr. Amy E. Krambeck suspected that when her department did a 90-day conversion to single-use ureteroscopes, urologists would frequently revert back to their familiar reusable devices.

“We were surprised,” said the Michael O. Koch professor of urology at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, on the Speaking of Urology podcast. “We had anticipated that we would be unsuccessful with the disposable scopes and have to use the reusable scopes, but we only had to convert to reusable scopes 4 percent of the time. So, 96 percent of the time we could complete the case satisfactorily using a disposable scope.”

  1. Q&A: Addressing Ergonomics Challenges in Colonoscopy

Dr. Marybeth Spanarkel recently discussed her experiences as a female clinical endoscopist and the unique ergonomics challenges that colonic looping presents.  

“I am absolutely passionate about reducing the propensity of musculoskeletal injuries and prospective disabilities in my colleagues,” she said. “If women go down with these injuries, it certainly hinders their forward career, both academic and clinical.”

  1. Webinar: Comparing the Health Economics of Reusable vs. Single-use Bronchoscopes

Click here to watch this webinar as well as the other installments in our “Bronchoscopy During COVID-19” series.

  1. Why Endoscopes Should be Dried with Compressed Air

Using an alcohol flush and hanging flexible endoscopes in an ambient storage cabinet is not effective for drying their channel systems, according to research.

A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control that examines the efficacy of flexible endoscope drying found that reusable endoscopes should be dried with compressed air before storage and may benefit from additional drying in a cabinet that provides compressed air directed to the channels. Endoscopes simply hung without compressed air drying were found to contain the same amount of liquid both pre- and post-hanging up to five days later, according to the authors.

  1. GI Societies Release Updated Reprocessing Guidelines

Updated endoscope reprocessing guidelines from several gastroenterology societies provide new insights into effective infection prevention in the endoscopy unit.

The gastroenterological multisociety task force, headed by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, published the updated guidelines in early 2021.

  1. Calculating the Per-Procedure Cost of Flexible Cystoscopy

The per-procedure cost of flexible cystoscopy varies by institution and the cost-effectiveness of single-use cystoscopes could largely rely on procedural volume.

That's according to a May 2021 study in Urologywhich explores factors such as capital equipment costs, labor, and supply costs, as well as the number of procedures performed each year, to see how they impact the price of cystoscopy.

  1. 4 Reasons Urologists, Procurement Managers Would Switch to Single-Use Cystoscopes

Urologists and procurement managers around the world have indicated a willingness to switch to single-use cystoscopes for up to an average of 44.5 percent of cystoscopy procedures.

Surveyed individuals indicated they would be significantly more willing to transition to single-use cystoscopes in clinical practice if at least one of the following four factors were true:

  • Single-use ureteroscopes were already used in their departments or clinics.
  • They indicated concern about device-related infection from contaminated cystoscopes.
  • They were members of their institution’s value analysis committee.
  • The individual considered cost transparency important when purchasing cystoscopes.
  1. Why Transition to Single-Use Endoscopy?

Ambu sponsored a panel discussion during the Becker's 11th Annual Meeting where guests explored – from clinical, patient, and financial perspectives – how single-use endoscopes can help organizations improve outcomes and patient experience while lowering costs and improving efficiency.

The Becker’s Hospital Review 11th Annual Meeting panel discussion featured:

  • Dr. Juan S. Tejada: Gastroenterologist, Memorial Health System
  • Dr. Srinivas Vourganti: Urologist, Rush Medical Center
  • Dr. James Horowitz: Cardiologist and critical care specialist, NYU Langone Health

Watch it here.

  1. Cost and Performance Analysis of Single-Use vs. Reusable Laryngoscopes

Physicians at multiple academic hospitals across the U.S. scored a single-use rhinolaryngoscope superior in setup and convenience and better overall than reusable competitors in a recent study.

The Ambu® aScope 4 RhinoLaryngo also was found to be comparable to the reusables in ergonomics and maneuverability and more cost effective, with no repairs or reprocessing needed. The study was published in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology in December 2020.

  1. FDA Investigating Reports of Infections Associated with Reprocessed Urological Endoscopes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an investigation of “numerous” medical device reports (MDRs) describing patient infections and other possible contamination issues possibly associated with reprocessed urological endoscopes.

Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Feb. 20, 2021, the FDA received more than 450 MDRs describing post-procedure patient infections or other potential contamination issues involving reprocessing these endoscopes, the agency said in a letter to healthcare providers issued April 1.

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Study: Single-use Duodenoscopes a Potential Cost-Effective Solution for Reducing Infection Risk
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Several factors must be considered before adopting single-use duodenoscopes for use in ERCP, including performance, environmental waste, and price. This study outlines the cost of reusable duodenoscopes at different endoscopy centers with varying procedure volumes.
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