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Our aging population has expectations for healthcare and a sustainable quality of life that those before could have only dreamed of—prospects that innovation supported by plastic medical devices can afford them.
Rising healthcare spending, higher life expectancy and innovation all have fueled growth in the plastics and medical device industries. A strong focus on research and development has led to numerous scientific and technological breakthroughs with no end in sight. In the past few decades, plastics have made healthcare simpler and less painful, and new techniques possible. Plastic medical devices have reduced contamination, relieved pain and cut medical costs. They have prolonged, improved and saved lives.
“From blood bags and examination gloves to glucose meters and heart valves, vinyl, polyurethane and other plastics have traditionally been the healthcare industry’s materials of choice,” says Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “The materials’ strength and versatility will continue to be in demand as medical discoveries and treatment breakthroughs create a need for new medical tools that only plastics can deliver.” Be it tamper-evident seals, child-resistant caps or Petri dishes, plastics continue to permeate medicine.
Home healthcare products—including assistive devices, therapeutic devices, monitors, sensors and telemetry devices—are expected to become one of the fastest- growing segments of the medical device industry. The U.S. Census Bureau notes that as the U.S. population ages, healthcare will be increasingly delivered in alternative settings, such as nursing homes, hospices and patient homes. As a result, BCC Research & Consulting, a company that does economic, market and policy research, projects a $20-billion global market for home medical equipment in 2012.
Another market tipping the scale is the plastic medical device packaging sector. Plastics packaging has proven indispensable in modern medical care, providing products such as see-through intravenous bags and break-resistant containers. According to a recent study by the firm Frost and Sullivan, this sector is expected to earn $920 million by 2013.
U.S. Census data shows that by 2030 there will be 71.5 million adults age 65 and over—up from 35 million in 2000. The older population is influencing the direction of the medical device industry due to its changing health needs and an accompanying shift in thinking on how and where seniors will be treated. Polymer-containing devices such as artery-opening stents, heart pacemakers, and hip replacements will help save and improve life for this rising figure—demonstrating that as our population ages, the need for plastics will grow.
As important a role as plastics may play in medical devices, there is an unlimited number of other uses for this material. Durable, economic, light and reusable, plastics can help make products such as utensils, window film, bottles, toys and furniture.
MARTINSVILLE-HENRY COUNTY: WINDOW TO A WORLD OF PLASTICS
Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia is producing some of the finest plastics products available. It is home to the world’s largest manufacturer of window film, the fastest growing window film manufacturer, an industry trendsetter for felt liners and a leader in the world of Expanded Polystyrene Foam products.
Solutia, Inc.; CP Films, Inc.; Commonwealth Laminating and Coating, Inc.; Applied Felts, Inc. and Tri-State Foam Products, Inc. are all leaders in their industries, and they do it all from Martinsville-Henry County.
Located only 35 miles from Martinsville-Henry County, the Advanced Applied Polymer Processing Institute (AAPPI), part of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, is a national research and engineering center of excellence providing strategic contract research arrangements, as well as state-of-the-art analytical, processing and testing services for the polymer manufacturing, processing and converting industries. A primary focus of the center is to strengthen polymer-based companies by enhancing their production efficiency, profitability, product quality and global competitiveness.
Centrally located on the East Coast, Martinsville-Henry County is within a day’s drive of more than 60 percent of the U.S. population. Its proximity to four interstates makes the County an ideal location for any business. Interstates 77, 85, 40 and 81 are all within 50 miles and easily accessible by four-lane connectors. The area has two major airports nearby, plus access to the Port of Virginia and Norfolk Southern rail service, offering a variety of reliable shipping options.
There are many reasons that companies have been looking at Martinsville-Henry County, VA. From its strong work force to its variety of incentives and utility costs that are among the lowest in the nation, more and more companies have been touring this area of southern Virginia, including major players like Yahoo.
Martinsville-Henry County has a skilled workforce and a strong work ethic, rooted in decades of manufacturing. This work ethic has contributed to so many companies choosing to stay in the area and expand.
“The key to [our] success is the loyal and dedicated employees,” says Don Hodges, president of West Window Corp. “You won’t find better employees than here in Martinsville-Henry County.”
Martinsville-Henry County is connected to a highly advanced optical broadband network. The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) operates a 1,700-mile backbone network providing 400 Gigabits of capacity with key carrier interconnection points from Washington DC to Atlanta, GA. The network provides connectivity with speeds ranging from 10 Megabits to 10 Gigabits. This network provides ultra-low latency connections to many Tier 1 telecom service providers. Multiple local and regional fiber optic networks in Martinsville-Henry County, including Century Link (formerly Embarq), Level3, Ntelos and the City of Martinsville MiNet, provide a robust and diverse telecommunications environment to serve the business, industrial and technology industries that are thriving in the county.
Martinsville-Henry County also is home to several GigaParks™ that have direct connectivity to the MBC network and provide the perfect setting for companies requiring high capacity and low cost for their business and data center needs. Having access to this advanced fiber-optic broadband network was one reason the area was a finalist for a recent Yahoo server farm.
The Commonwealth of Virginia and Martinsville-Henry County offer a variety of incentives for new and expanding Virginia employers, including an Enterprise Zone, a Technology Zone, the Governor’s Opportunity Fund and the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund. These incentives have enticed numerous companies to relocate in the county and are fueling the growth of business/industrial parks that offer 2,000 acres of land for development.
Two new business parks are planned in Martinsville-Henry County. The Commonwealth Crossing Park, which will be served by rail and developed on approximately 800 acres on the North Carolina border, is just 30 miles north of Greensboro airport. And a 1,200-acre expansion is planned for the current Patriot Centre site. These sites will be available to accommodate companies of various sizes, including major industries.
“Our plans show prospective industries that we can accommodate their needs today, tomorrow and in the future,” says Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation.
Martinsville-Henry County offers a pro-business attitude to help get your plant up and running quickly. A multitude of available sites and buildings and a trained workforce will help speed your product to market.
For more information about Martinsville-Henry County, call 276-403-5942 today, or visit www.YesMartinsville.com to find out how this prime location can get your business up and running quickly.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA: PERMANENT HOME FOR MASIMO
A device that measures vital blood characteristics without a needle, and patient monitoring sensors that maintain wireless contact with healthcare providers—some of the world’s most sophisticated and innovative patient-monitoring equipment and medical technology comes from Masimo Corporation. This means that it comes from Irvine.
Founded by Joe E. Kiani, the company’s chairman and CEO, Masimo’s development of noninvasive testing and patient monitoring tools has garnered the company worldwide acclaim and consistent growth.
Masimo has more than 1,700 employees and contractors, and advanced patient monitoring products in top hospitals and healthcare facilities worldwide, as well as breakthrough technologies inside 100 multiparameter monitors and 40 monitoring brands, including Atom, Datascope, Philips and Zoll. The company’s founder remains as committed to innovation and development as he did when Masimo was a private “garage start-up”—and equally as committed to Irvine.
“Irvine has been a hotbed for technology and medical technology from the early days of AST and Western Digital, to the medical companies like Edwards and McGaw,” Kiani observes. “We’ve had tremendous access to resources, from engineers to businesspeople, that we gather not only from Orange County, but also San Diego and Los Angeles.”
And the available resources extend beyond Masimo’s offices, labs and campus. “A lot of the vendors that we need to work with have facilities here,” Kiani observes. “Everyone from integrated circuit companies to tooling companies to printing companies,” he says. “We have access to a lot of people who do a great job in manufacturing, business and engineering. They’ve been educated and trained here by many other companies before Masimo. Local universities like the University of California, Irvine and Cal State, Fullerton, as well as schools in San Diego and Los Angeles, provide a rich pool of business professionals and very talented engineers.”
Another aspect of Irvine came into play as Kiani was starting Masimo: “Even at the early stages, when we had to rely on venture capital funds—there are venture capitalists here.” “I would describe Irvine not only as a place that has great weather,” he says, “but a place that is really a great combination of the good things that you feel in a small town, and a metropolitan city, teeming with an energy . . . Once you come to Irvine, you grow with it.”
Nurturing that energy and growth has been as important to Irvine as to Masimo. Showing a 25-fold sales increase over the past five years, the company’s annual reports and quarterly statements reflect the success that comes from enthusiasm, brilliance and drive, but also from the ongoing success that comes from carefully managed and prudent expansion.
Likewise the city, named by the FBI as the safest large city in America for the fifth year in a row, was recently selected by BusinessWeek as one of the “20 Cities Best Suited to Withstand a Recession.”
In December 2009 Masimo announced plans to build an adjacent 32,000-square foot addition to its Irvine headquarters. “For companies that are looking to relocate to Irvine, or expand in Irvine, I would say that Irvine is going to continue to grow and grow again,” says Kiani. “That is why we chose to locate here and why we continue to expand.”
Growth without loss of focus or character is at the heart of Masimo and the city Joe Kiani chose as the home for his company and himself: “The environment that we get to be part of here in Irvine, where everyone has this constructive energy to move things forward in a positive way—I think it’s second to none.”