Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Jodi Sherman

Second Advisor

Saed Alizamir


Healthcare sector is estimated to contribute around 4.6% of the global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. An estimated 11% of National Health Service GHG emissions are attributable to medical devices. Medical device industry, therefore, has a sizeable carbon footprint. Medical device reprocessing is a validated process used to render a medical device, which has been previously used or contaminated, ready for subsequent use. It is estimated that 2-3% of all medical devices can be safely reprocessed. The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) estimates that the reprocessing activity by its member companies successfully reduced waste generation by 7093 tons, and generated cost savings of USD 170 million for hospitals and surgical centers in the United States, Canada, and Europe in the year 2018. We estimate potential direct cost savings from reprocessing to be upwards of USD 2 Billion per year for United States till 2025. Reprocessed single-use devices (SUDs) are safe and effective, and SUD reprocessing is a viable option for reducing the environmental impact of the healthcare industry and generate cost savings. There is a need to bring in regulatory reforms, promote buy-in from stakeholders including healthcare facilities and physicians, adapt performance-based business models like servitization, and generate environmental emissions databases for medical devices to guide empirical and data-driven policy making on reprocessing of SUDs. Further, original equipment manufacturers have indulged in anti-competitive behavior to further their economic interests and need to be held accountable for such actions that reduce consumer welfare and have a negative impact on the environment.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access