Medtech: Where is the opportunity?

The areas of greatest opportunity in medtech are those which have already demonstrated they have plenty of upside, even if a robust number of competitors have already begun targeting them.

Areas of the strongest market growth in medical technologies that we are seeing have emerged out of the major segments we have tracked in recent analyses.  These fall into the following areas:

  • Coronary Stents.  The area of highest growth is the emerging segment of bioabsorbable stents.  These target the goal of having a lower profile in their impact on the body and are hoped to have the best anti-restenosis performance of stents. Bare metal stents (unless they are designed as per Palmaz, if his premise holds up), will simply see declines. Report
  • Wound Management.  The biggest growth areas in this market are in foam dressings, the use of physical therapies (e.g., negative pressure wound therapy) and the use of growth factors.  Even some relatively novel wound dressing types (film dressings, hydrogels, non-adherents, anti-microbials) are on a relative basis just not showing much growth. Report
  • Sealants/Glues/Wound Closure.  Fibrin sealants, high-strength medical adhesives (cyanoacrylates to some degree but more importantly bio-based glues) and anti-adhesion products are on a path of high sustained growth as these products make a real impact in managing surgical and traumatic wounds.  Sutures and staples, ironically, would be in faster decline if it weren't for the growth in the adjunctive use of sealants/glues on suture/staple lines to ensure tight closure. Report
  • Ablation Technologies.  Nearly every segment of ablation technologies are showing strong, double-digit annual growth. These include microwave, thermal, cryogenic, radiofrequency (RF), and ultrasonic.  There is lesser growth in hydromechanical, laser, electrosurgery/electrocautery and radiation therapy systems for ablation. Report
  • Spine Surgery.  Traditional spine surgery, in terms of fusion (without dynamic stabilization) is taking a serious hit as products like annulus repair, nucleus replacement, interspinous process spacers and total disc replacement offer better outcomes.  Vertebroplasty had hinted at having great promise until lackluster, even poor, reults at trials deflated the hopes of developers. Report

If not otherwise mentioned, those medtech segments that demonstrate, with laser clarity, benefits associated with lowered cost, improved outcomes from a long-term perspective and minimal invasiveness will likewise fall into the category of growth markets and opportunity.

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