In examining medical device markets, it is useful to be able to examine current markets, forces and trends to be able to see emerging gaps in the market, which represent opportunities or challenges, depending on where your particular medtech perspective.
In reviewing a very large set of data on spine surgery across global markets, I came across the fact that in a very specific sector, kyphoplasty — in which vertebral compression fractures are treated by restoring vertebra height through balloon inflation of the collapsed vertebral space and filling the space with cement — the trends in the Europe Union are very distinct from the trends in the Asia/Pacific region encompassing Japan, China, India and Australia/New Zealand, revealing a growing disparity between the spine surgery markets in these regions.
In this example, growth in the European Union is at better than 30% annually, while the comparable growth for Asia/Pacific is just over 10%. As a result, you can see the divergence of these two markets after about 2014, when the difference begins to result in a much larger market for kyphoplasty in the EU. Even if one were to temper the arguments underlying this disparity in growth, a measurable difference would remain.
Source: “Worldwide Spine Surgery: Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities, 2010-2020”; Report #M520.
The point to be had from this exercise is that, however speculative predicting the future may be, since multiple forces determine the future and their individual directions and intensities can only be roughly approximated, confidently knowing the relative strength of forces in different markets and applying data-driven trending can lead to very specific predictions. Those market predictions then become meaningful because they lead to very real consequences, good or bad, for the movers and shakers in the market.