- In catheterization, a doctor can poke a hole in your leg and fix your heart.
- Radiosurgery can destroy a tumor and leave adjacent tissue untouched, touching the body only with energy.
- A doctor thousands of miles away can do surgery on you via telepresence and robotic instrumentation.
- Medical device implants like stents have been developed to simply dissolve over time.
- Doctors can see cancer via live imaging during operations to ensure that they excise it all.
- Type 1 diabetics may soon be able to so easily manage their condition, via combined insulin pump / glucometer that they may almost forget they have diabetes (or cell therapy may cure them!), while Type 2 diabetics will grow in number and cost to manage.
- Organs are already being printed, as are other tissue implants.
- Neuroprosthetics, exoskeletons and related technologies are enabling wheelchair-bound and other physically challenged people to walk upright, allowing amputees to control prosthetics with their mind,
- Almost two-thirds of the 7,000 medical device firms in the United States have fewer than 20 employees — Medtronic employs all the rest. (OK, that’s an exaggeration.)
- Science fiction continues to drive the imagination of medtech innovators. Decentralized diagnostics — very small, efficient devices in the hands of a doctor that will rapidly assist in diagnoses and expedite the process of intervention — are becoming pervasive, ideally embodied in the fictional “tricorder” in Star Trek.
Below is a table with a list of the market segments demonstrating greater than 10% compound annual growth rate for the associated region through 2022, drawn from our reports on tissue engineering & cell therapy, wound management, ablation technologies, stroke, peripheral stents, and sealants/glues/hemostats. Products with over 10% CAGR in sales are shown in descending order of CAGR.
|1||General, gastrointestinal, ob/gyn, other||tissue/cell||WW|
|3||Organ Replacement/ Repair||tissue/cell||WW|
|8||Bioengineered skin and skin substitutes||wound||Rest of A/P|
|9||Peripheral drug-eluting stents (A/P)||peripheral interventional||A/P|
|10||Peripheral drug eluting stents||peripheral interventional||RoW|
|11||Peripheral drug-eluting stents (US)||peripheral interventional||US|
|12||Negative pressure wound therapy||wound||Germany|
|13||Hydrocolloid dressings||wound||Rest of A/P|
|15||Foam dressings||wound||Rest of A/P|
|16||Growth factors||wound||Rest of A/P|
|17||Alginate dressings||wound||Rest of A/P|
|19||Bioengineered skin and skin substitutes||wound||Japan|
|20||Hemostats||sealants, glues, hemostats||A/P|
|22||Bioengineered skin and skin substitutes||sealants, glues, hemostats||US|
|23||Bioengineered skin and skin substitutes||sealants, glues, hemostats||WW|
|24||Film dressings||wound||Rest of A/P|
|25||Surgical sealants||sealants, glues, hemostats||A/P|
|26||Hydrogel dressings||wound||Rest of A/P|
|27||TAA Stent grafts||peripheral interventional||A/P|
|28||Negative pressure wound therapy||wound||RoW|
|29||Biological glues||sealants, glues, hemostats||A/P|
|32||AAA Stent grafts||peripheral interventional||A/P|
|33||Cerebral thrombectomy systems||stroke||A/P|
|34||High-strength medical glues||sealants, glues, hemostats||A/P|
|35||Carotid artery stenting systems||stroke||A/P|
|36||Cardiac RF ablation products||ablation||A/P|
|38||Peripheral venous stents||peripheral interventional||A/P|
|39||Cerebral thrombectomy systems||stroke||US|
|40||Left atrial appendage closure systems||stroke||A/P|
|41||Cyanoacrylate glues||sealants, glues, hemostats||A/P|
|42||Foam dressings||wound||Rest of EU|
|44||Cryoablation cardiac & vascular products||ablation||A/P|
|45||Bioengineered skin and skin substitutes||wound||Germany|
|46||Thrombin, collagen & gelatin-based sealants||sealants, glues, hemostats||A/P|
|47||Cardiac RF ablation products||ablation||RoW|
|48||Bioengineered skin and skin substitutes||wound||RoW|
|49||Microwave oncologic ablation products||ablation||A/P|
Source: MedMarket Diligence Reports
An important determinant of “where medicine will be” in 2035 is the set of dynamics and forces behind healthcare delivery systems, including primarily the payment method, especially regarding reimbursement. It is clear that some form of reform in healthcare will result in a consolidation of the infrastructure paying for and managing patient populations. The infrastructure is bloated and expensive, unnecessarily adding to costs that neither the federal government nor individuals can sustain. This is not to say that I predict movement to a single payer system — that is just one perceived solution to the problem. There are far too many costs in healthcare that offer no benefits in terms of quality; indeed, such costs are a true impediment to quality. Funds that go to infrastructure (insurance companies and other intermediaries) and the demands they put on healthcare delivery work directly against quality of care. So, in the U.S., whether Obamacare persists (most likely) or is replaced with a single payer system, state administered healthcare (exchanges) or some other as-yet-unidentified form, there will be change in how healthcare is delivered from a cost/management perspective.
From the clinical practice and technology side, there will be enormous changes to healthcare. Here are examples of what I see from tracking trends in clinical practice and medical technology development:
- Cancer 5 year survival rates will, for many cancers, be well over 90%. Cancer will largely be transformed in most cases to chronic disease that can be effectively managed by surgery, immunology, chemotherapy and other interventions. Cancer and genomics, in particular, has been a lucrative study (see The Cancer Genome Atlas). Immunotherapy developments are also expected to be part of many oncology solutions. Cancer has been a tenacious foe, and remains one we will be fighting for a long time, but the fight will have changed from virtually incapacitating the patient to following protocols that keep cancer in check, if not cure/prevent it.
- Diabetes Type 1 (juvenile onset) will be managed in most patients by an “artificial pancreas”, a closed loop glucometer and insulin pump that will self-regulate blood glucose levels. OR, stem cell or other cell therapies may well achieve success in restoring normal insulin production and glucose metabolism in Type 1 patients. The odds are better that a practical, affordable artificial pancreas will developed than stem or other cell therapy, but both technologies are moving aggressively and will gain dramatic successes within 20 years.
Developments in the field of the “artificial pancreas” have recently gathered considerable pace, such that, by 2035, type 1 blood glucose management may be no more onerous than a house thermostat due to the sophistication and ease-of-use made possible with the closed loop, biofeedback capabilities of the integrated glucometer, insulin pump and the algorithms that drive it, but that will not be the end of the development of better options for type 1 diabetics. Cell therapy for type 1 diabetes, which may be readily achieved by one or more of a wide variety of cellular approaches and product forms (including cell/device hybrids) may well have progressed by 2035 to become another viable alternative for type 1 diabetics.
- Diabetes Type 2 (adult onset) will be a significant problem governed by different dynamics than Type 1. A large body of evidence will exist that shows dramatically reduced incidence of Type 2 associated with obesity management (gastric bypass, satiety drugs, etc.) that will mitigate the growing prevalence of Type 2, but research into pharmacologic or other therapies may at best achieve only modest advances. The problem will reside in the complexity of different Type 2 manifestation, the late onset of the condition in patients who are resistant to the necessary changes in lifestyle and the global epidemic that will challenge dissemination of new technologies and clinical practices to third world populations.
Despite increasing levels of attention being raised to the burden of type 2 worldwide, including all its sequellae (vascular, retinal, kidney and other diseases), the pace of growth globally in type 2 is still such that it will represent a problem and target for pharma, biotech, medical device, and other disciplines.
- Cell therapy and tissue engineering will offer an enormous number of solutions for conditions currently treated inadequately, if at all. Below is an illustration of the range of applications currently available or in development, a list that will expand (along with successes in each) over the next 20 years.
Cell therapy will have deeply penetrated virtually every medical specialty by 2035. Most advanced will be those that target less complex tissues: bone, muscle, skin, and select internal organ tissues (e.g., bioengineered bladder, others). However, development will have also followed the money. Currently, development and use of conventional technologies in areas like cardiology, vascular, and neurology entails high expenditure that creates enormous investment incentive that will drive steady development of cell therapy and tissue engineering over the next 20 years, with the goal of better, long-term and/or less costly solutions.
- Gene therapy will be an option for a majority of genetically-based diseases (especially inherited diseases) and will offer clinical options for non-inherited conditions. Advances in the analysis of inheritance and expression of genes will also enable advanced interventions to either ameliorate or actually preempt the onset of genetic disease.
As the human genome is the engineering plans for the human body, it is a potential mother lode for the future of medicine, but it remains a complex set of plans to elucidate and exploit for the development of therapies. While genetically-based diseases may readily be addressed by gene therapies in 2035, the host of other diseases that do not have obvious genetic components will resist giving up easy gene therapy solutions. Then again, within 20 years a number of reasonable advances in understanding and intervention could open the gate to widespread “gene therapy” (in some sense) for a breadth of diseases and conditions –> Case in point, the recent emergence of the gene-editing technology, CRISPR, has set the stage for practical applications to correct genetically-based conditions.
- Drug development will be dramatically more sophisticated, reducing the development time and cost while resulting in drugs that are far more clinically effective (and less prone to side effects). This arises from drug candidates being evaluated via distributed processing systems (or quantum computer systems) that can predict efficacy and side effect without need of expensive and exhaustive animal or human testing.The development of effective drugs will have been accelerated by both modeling systems and increases in our understanding of disease and trauma, including pharmacogenomics to predict drug response. It may not as readily follow that the costs will be reduced, something that may only happen as a result of policy decisions.
- Most surgical procedures will achieve the ability to be virtually non-invasive. Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) will enable highly sophisticated surgery without ever making an abdominal or other (external) incision. Technologies like “gamma knife” and similar will have the ability to destroy tumors or ablate pathological tissue via completely external, energy-based systems.
By 2035, technologies such as these will measurably reduce inpatient stays, on a per capita basis, since a significant reason for overnight stays is the trauma requiring recovery, and eliminating trauma is a major goal and advantage of minimally invasive technologies (e.g., especially the NOTES technology platform). A wide range of other technologies (e.g., gamma knife, minimally invasive surgery/intervention, etc.) across multiple categories (device, biotech, pharma) will also have emerged and succeeded in the market by producing therapeutic benefit while minimizing or eliminating collateral damage.
Information technology will radically improve patient management. Very sophisticated electronic patient records will dramatically improve patient care via reduction of contraindications, predictive systems to proactively manage disease and disease risk, and greatly improve the decision-making of physicians tasked with diagnosing and treating patients.There are few technical hurdles to the advancement of information technology in medicine, but even in 2035, infotech is very likely to still be facing real hurdles in its use as a result of the reluctance in healthcare to give up legacy systems and the inertia against change, despite the benefits.
- Personalized medicine. Perfect matches between a condition and its treatment are the goal of personalized medicine, since patient-to-patient variation can reduce the efficacy of off-the-shelf treatment. The thinking behind gender-specific joint replacement has led to custom-printed 3D implants. The use of personalized medicine will also be manifested by testing to reveal potential emerging diseases or conditions, whose symptoms may be ameliorated or prevented by intervention before onset.
- Systems biology will underlie the biology of most future medical advances in the next 20 years. Systems biology is a discipline focused on an integrated understanding of cell biology, physiology, genetics, chemistry, and a wide range of other individual medical and scientific disciplines. It represents an implicit recognition of an organism as an embodiment of multiple, interdependent organ systems and its processes, such that both pathology and wellness are understood from the perspective of the sum total of both the problem and the impact of possible solutions.This orientation will be intrinsic to the development of medical technologies, and will increasingly be represented by clinical trials that throw a much wider and longer-term net around relevant data, staff expertise encompassing more medical/scientific disciplines, and unforeseen solutions that present themselves as a result of this approach.Other technologies being developed aggressively now will have an impact over the next twenty years, including medical/surgical robots (or even biobots), neurotechnologies to diagnose, monitor, and treat a wide range of conditions (e.g., spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc.).
The breadth and depth of advances in medicine over the next 20 years will be extraordinary, since many doors have been recently opened as a result of advances in genetics, cell biology, materials science, systems biology and others — with the collective advances further stimulating both learning and new product development.
See the 2016 report #290, “Worldwide Markets for Medical and Surgical Sealants, Glues, and Hemostats, 2015-2022.”
Medical technology is, for many of its markets, being forced to look for growth from more sources, including emerging markets. Manufacturers are able to gain better margins through innovation, but their success varies by clinical application.
Cardiology. A demanding patient base (it’s life or death). Be that as it may, there are few new or untapped markets, only the opportunity for new technologies to displace existing markets. Interventional technologies are progressively enabling treatment of larger patient populations, but much growth will still be from emerging markets.
Wound management. Even the most well-established markets will see growth from innovation. The wound market just needs less growth to be happy, since small percentage growth becomes very large by volume. And yet, some of the most significant growth in the long run will be for more advanced
Surgery. Every aspect of surgery seems to be subject to attempts to improve upon it. Robotics, endoscopy, transcatheter, single-port, incisionless, natural orifice. Interventional options are increasing the treatable patient population, and it seems likely that continued development (e.g., materials, including biodegradables, use of drug or other coatings, including cells) will yield more routine procedures for more and different types of conditions, many of which have been inadequately served, if it all.
Orthopedics. Aging populations demanding more agility and mobility will drive orthopedic procedures and device use. Innovation still represents some upside, but more from 3D printing than other new technologies being introduced to practice.
Tissue/Cell Therapy. This is a technology opportunity (and represents radical innovation for most clinical areas), but it is also a set of target clinical applications, since tissues/cells are being engineered to address tissue or cell trauma or disease. Growth is displacing existing markets with new technology, such as bioengineered skin, tendons, bladders, bone, cardiac tissue, etc. These are fundamentally radical technologies for the target applications.
Below is my conceptual opinion on the balance of growth by clinical area coming from routine innovation (tweaks, improvements), radical innovation (whole new “paradigms” like cell therapy in cardiology), and emerging market growth (e.g., China, S. America).
Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC.
The previously accepted wisdom was that a wound healed best when it was kept as dry as possible. In 1962, George Winter, a British-born physician, published his ground-breaking wound care research. His paper, (Nature 193:293. 1962), entitled, “Formation of the scab and the rate of epithelization of superficial wounds in the skin of the young domestic pig,” demonstrated that wounds kept moist healed faster than those exposed to the air or covered with a traditional dressing and kept dry. Dr. Winter’s work began the development of modern wound dressings which are used to promote moist wound healing.
Natural skin is considered the ideal wound dressing, and therefore wound dressings have been designed to try to reproduce the advantages of natural skin. Today, experts feel that a wound dressing should have several characteristics if it is to serve its purpose. A wound dressing should:
- Provide the optimal moisture needs for the particular wound
- Have the capacity to provide thermal insulation, gaseous exchange, and to help drainage and debris removal, which promotes tissue reconstruction
- Be biocompatible without causing any allergic or immune response reaction
- Protect the wound from secondary infections
- Be easily removable without causing any trauma to the delicate healing tissues.
There are hundreds of dressings to choose from, but they all fall into one of a few categories. The healthcare provider will select a dressing by category, according to availability and familiarity of using that particular dressing.
Occlusive dressings are those which are air- and water-tight. An occlusive dressing is frequently made with some kind of waxy coating to ensure a totally water-tight bandage. It may also consist of a thin sheet of plastic affixed to the skin with tape. An occlusive dressing retains moisture, heat, body fluids and medication in the wound. There are several types of occlusive dressings, which are discussed below.
It should be remembered that proper wound care, especially of a chronic wound, is a complex process, as much art as science; a trained healthcare provider assesses the wound as it goes through various stages, and applies the appropriate wound dressings as the need arises. Unfortunately, the most appropriate dressing is not always used, due perhaps to confusion around which type of dressing to apply, or because certain dressings—especially advanced dressings—either may not be available in the facility, or may not be reimbursed by the country’s healthcare system, or may simply be too expensive. This remains true even in some of the developed countries.
The following table summarizes potential applications for various types of wound care products, with selected examples. This summary is meant as a guideline and an illustration of the fact that different dressing types may find use in various types of wounds. In addition, as a wound heals, it may need a different type of dressing. Here again the wound care professional’s judgment and training come into play.
|Dressing category||Product examples||Description||Potential applications|
|Film||Hydrofilm, Release, Tegaderm, Bioclusive||Comes as adhesive, thin transparent polyurethane film, and as a dressing with a low adherent pad attached to the film.||Clean, dry wounds, minimal exudate; also used to cover and secure underlying absorptive dressing, and on hard-to-bandage locations, such as heel.|
|Foam||PermaFoam, PolyMem, Biatain||Polyurethane foam dressing available in sheets or in cavity filling shapes. Some foam dressing have a semipermeable, waterproof layer as the outer layer of the dressing||Facilitates a moist wound environment for healing. Used to clean granulating wounds which have minimal exudate.|
|Hydrogel||Hydrosorb Gel Sheet, Purilon, Aquasorb, DuoDerm, Intrasite Gel, Granugel,||Colloids which consist of polymers that expand in water. Available in gels, sheets, hydrogel-impregnated dressings.||Provides moist wound environment for cell migration, reduces pain, helps to rehydrate eschar. Used on dry, sloughy or necrotic wounds.|
|Hydrocolloid||CombiDERM, Hydrocoll, Comfeel, DuoDerm CGF Extra Thin, Granuflex, TegasorbÕ Nu-Derm||Made of hydroactive or hydrophilic particles attached to a hydrophobic polymer. The hydrophilic particles absorb moisture from the wound, convert it to a gel at the interface with the wound. Conforms to wound surface; waterproof and bacteria proof.||Gel formation at wound interface provides moist wound environment. Dry necrotic wounds, or for wounds with minimal exudate. Also used for granulating wounds.|
|Alginate||AlgiSite, Sorbalgon Curasorb, Kaltogel, Kaltostat, SeaSorb, Tegagel||A natural polysaccharide derived from seaweed; available in a range of sizes, as well as in ribbons and ropes.||Because highly absorbent, used for wounds with copious exudate. Can be used in rope form for packing exudative wound cavities or sinus tracts.|
|Antimicrobial||Biatain Ag, Atrauman Ag, MediHoney||Both silver and honey are used as antimicrobial elements in dressings.||Silver: Requires wound to be moderately exudative to activate the silver, in order to be effective|
|NPWD||SNaP, V.A.C. Ulta, PICO, Renasys (not in USA), Prospera PRO series, Invia Liberty||Computerized vacuum device applies continuous or intermittent negative or sub-atmospheric pressure to the wound surface. NPWT accelerates wound healing, reduces time to wound closure. Comes in both stationary and portable versions.||May be used for traumatic acute wound, open amputations, open abdomen, etc. Seems to increase burn wound perfusion. Also used in management of DFUs. Contraindicated for arterial insufficiency ulcers. Not to be used if necrotic tissue is present in over 30% of the wound.|
|Bioengineered Skin and Skin Substitutes||AlloDerm, AlloMax, FlexHD, DermACELL, DermaMatrix, DermaPure, Graftjacket Regenerative Tissue Matrix, PriMatrix, SurgiMend PRS, Strattice Reconstructive Tissue Matrix, Permacol, EpiFix, OASIS Wound Matrix, Apligraf, Dermagraft, Integra Dermal Regeneration Template, TransCyte||Bio-engineered skin and soft tissue substitutes may be derived from human tissue (autologous or allogeneic), xenographic, synthetic materials, or a composite of these materials.||Burns, trauma wounds, DFUs, VLUs, pressure ulcers, postsurgical breast reconstruction, bullous diseases|
Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S251.
From our weekly email to blog subscribers…
Extrinsic Factors Affecting Wound Healing
From Report #S251, “Worldwide Wound Management, Forecast to 2024: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Rest of World.”
Extrinsic factors affecting wound healing include:
Mechanical stress factors include pressure, shear, and friction. Pressure can result from immobility, such as experienced by a bed- or chair-bound patient, or local pressures generated by a cast or poorly fitting shoe on a diabetic foot. When pressure is applied to an area for sufficient time and duration, blood flow to the area is compromised and healing cannot take place. Shear forces may occlude blood vessels, and disrupt or damage granulation tissue. Friction wears away newly formed epithelium or granulation tissue and may return the wound to the inflammatory phase.
Debris, such as necrotic tissue or foreign material, must be removed from the wound site in order to allow the wound to progress from the inflammatory stage to the proliferative stage of healing. Necrotic debris includes eschar and slough. The removal of necrotic tissue is called debridement and may be accomplished by mechanical, chemical, autolytic, or surgical means. Foreign material may include sutures, dressing residues, fibers shed by dressings, and foreign material which were introduced during the wounding process, such as dirt or glass.
Temperature controls the rate of chemical and enzymatic processes occurring within the wound and the metabolism of cells and tissue engaged in the repair process. Frequent dressing changes or wound cleansing with room temperature solutions may reduce wound temperature, often requiring several hours for recovery to physiological levels. Thus, wound dressings that promote a “cooling” effect, while they may help to decrease pain, may not support wound repair.
Desiccation of the wound surface removes the physiological fluids that support wound healing activity. Dry wounds are more painful, itchy, and produce scab material in an attempt to reduce fluid loss. Cell proliferation, leukocyte activity, wound contraction, and revascularization are all reduced in a dry environment. Epithelialization is drastically slowed in the presence of scab tissue that forces epithelial cells to burrow rather than freely migrate over granulation tissue. Advanced wound dressings provide protection against desiccation.
Maceration resulting from prolonged exposure to moisture may occur from incontinence, sweat accumulation, or excess exudates. Maceration can lead to enlargement of the wound, increased susceptibility to mechanical forces, and infection. Advanced wound products are designed to remove sources of moisture, manage wound exudates, and protect skin at the edges of the wound from exposure to exudates, incontinence, or perspiration.
Infection at the wound site will ensure that the healing process remains in the inflammatory phase. Pathogenic microbes in the wound compete with macrophages and fibroblasts for limited resources and may cause further necrosis in the wound bed. Serious wound infection can lead to sepsis and death. While all ulcers are considered contaminated, the diagnosis of infection is made when the wound culture demonstrates bacterial counts in excess of 105 microorganisms per gram of tissue. The clinical signs of wound infection are erythema, heat, local swelling, and pain.
Chemical stress is often applied to the wound through the use of antiseptics and cleansing agents. Routine, prolonged use of iodine, peroxide, chlorhexidine, alcohol, and acetic acid has been shown to damage cells and tissue involved in wound repair. Their use is now primarily limited to those wounds and circumstances when infection risk is high. The use of such products is rapidly discontinued in favor of using less cytotoxic agents, such as saline and nonionic surfactants.
Medication may have significant effects on the phases of wound healing. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce the inflammatory response necessary to prepare the wound bed for granulation. Chemotherapeutic agents affect the function of normal cells as well as their target tumor tissue; their effects include reduction in the inflammatory response, suppression of protein synthesis, and inhibition of cell reproduction. Immunosuppressive drugs reduce WBC counts, reducing inflammatory activities and increasing the risk of wound infection.
Other extrinsic factors that may affect wound healing include alcohol abuse, smoking, and radiation therapy. Alcohol abuse and smoking interfere with body’s defense system, and side effects from radiation treatments include specific disruptions to the immune system, including suppression of leukocyte production that increases the risk of infection in ulcers. Radiation for treatment of cancer causes secondary complications to the skin and underlying tissue. Early signs of radiation side effects include acute inflammation, exudation, and scabbing. Later signs, which may appear four to six months after radiation, include woody, fibrous, and edematous skin. Advanced radiated skin appearances can include avascular tissue and ulcerations in the circumscribed area of the original radiation. The radiated wound may not become evident until as long as 10-20 years after the end of therapy.
Source: “Wound Management to 2024”, Report #S251.
Source: “Global Market Opportunities in Peripheral Arterial and Venous Stents, Forecast to 2020”, Report #V201.
It was once quite convenient for manufacturers of deluxe medical widgets to worry only about other manufacturers of deluxe medical widgets. Manufacturers must now widen their perspective to consider current and future competition (and opportunity) from whatever direction it may come. –> Just thought I might chime in and suggest that, if you do make such widgets, it might be a good idea to maybe throw at least an occasional sidelong glance at biotech. (Most of you are, great, but some of you think biotech is too far away to compete…)
Organ Bioengineering is years away and poses little challenge to medical devices …FALSE. Urinary bladders have been engineered for pediatric applications. Bioengineered skin (the “integumentary” organ) is now routinely bioengineered for burns, chronic wounds, and other wound types. Across a wide range of tissue types (bone, cardiac, smooth muscle, dermal, etc.) scientists — clinicians — have rapidly developed technologies to direct the construction and reconstruction of these tissues and restore their structure and function.
Cell Biology. Of course cells are engineered into tissues as part of the science of tissue engineering, but combine this with advances in engineering not just between cells but between cells AND within cells and (…sound of my head exploding). With the sum of the understanding and capacity to control we have gained over cellular processes over the past few decades now rapidly accelerating, medical science is fast approaching the point at which it can dictate outcomes for cell, tissues, organs, organ systems, and humans (I am not frightened, but excited, with caution). Our understanding and proficiency gained in manipulating processes from cell division to pluripotency to differentiation to senescence to death OR NOT has profound consequences for fatal, debilitating, incurable, devastating, costly, and nearly every other negative superlative you can conceive.
CRISPR*: This is a new, relatively simple, but extraordinary tool allowing researchers or, more importantly, physicians to potentially swap out defective genes with healthy ones. See Nature.
(* clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats)
Biotech has, over its history, often succeeded in getting attention, but has had less success justifying it, leaving investors rudely awakened to its complexities. It has continued, however, to achieve legitimately exciting medical therapeutic advances, if only as stepping stones in the right direction, like mapping the human genome, the development of polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”), and biotech-driven advances in molecular biology, immunology, gene therapy, and others, with applications ripe for exploitation in many clinical specialties, Sadly, the agonizing delay between advanced and “available now” has typically disappointed manufacturers, investors, clinicians and patients alike. CRISPR and other tools already available (see Genetic Engineering News and others) are poised to increase the expectations – and the pace toward commercialization – in biotechnology.
Vaccines and Infectious Disease: Anyone reading this who has been under a rock for lo these many years, blissfully ignorant of SARS, Ebola, Marburg, MRSA, and many other frightening acronyms besides HIV/AIDS (more than enough for us already) should emerge and witness the plethora of risks we face (and self-inflict through neglect), any one of which might ultimately overwhelm us if not medically then economically in their impacts. But capitalists (many altruistic) and others have come to the rescue with vaccines such as for malaria and dengue-fever and, even, one for HIV that is in clinicals.
Critical Mass, Synergies, and Info Tech. Biotechnology is succeeding in raising great gobs of capital (if someone has a recommended index/database on biotech funding, let me know?). Investors appear to be
forgetful increasingly confident (in the 1990s, I saw big layoffs in biotech because of ill-advised investments, but that was then…) that their money will result in approved products with protected intellectual property and adequate reimbursement and manageable costs in order to result in attractive financials. The advances in biological and medical science alone are not enough to account for this, but such advances are almost literally being catalyzed by information technologies that make important connections faster, yielding understanding and new opportunities. The net effect of individual medically-related disciplines (commercial or academic) advancing research more efficiently as a result of info tech and info sharing/synergies between disciplines is the expected burst of medical benefits ensuing from biotech. (Take a look also at Internet of DNA.)
Very decided shifts are taking place in the wound management market as advanced wound technologies take up caseload from traditional technologies like gauze and others. It becomes evident that traditional products once representing above average sales are now projected to be below average (gauze) as are even a moderately new technology, “negative pressure wound therapy devices” (NPWD), while bioengineered skin and skin substitutes will represent “above average”.
Global Wound Management Market,
Above/Below Average Sectors, 2015 & 2024
Source: Report #S251.
Global Wound Management Market, Sales, 2015 & 2024
Source: Report #S251.
Despite the tepid growth of traditional wound management products, they remain very large markets that even the most aggressively growing segments will require time to match that volume. Bioengineered skin and skin substitutes are moving fast in that direction.
Global CAGR 2016-2024 for Wound Management Segments
Source: Report #S251.
If you would like excerpts from this report, Click Here.
Worldwide, an enormous number of wounds are driving a $15 billion market that will soon pass $20 billion. What is driving wound sales is the continued growth and prevalence of different wound types targeted by medical technologies ranging from bandages to bioengineered skin, physical systems like negative pressure wound therapy, biological growth factors, and others.
Most attention in wound management is focused on improving conventional wound healing in difficult clinical situations, especially for chronic wounds, in the expansion of wound management technologies to global markets, and in the application of advanced technologies to improve healing of acute wounds, especially surgical wounds.
Global Prevalence of Wound Types, 2015
Total Wound Care Market as Percent of Entire Market, 2024