The bulk of wound types driving the use of products for wound sealing, closure, hemostasis and anti-adhesion are surgical incisions made for the purpose of treating disease. While this figure is over 100 million annually on a global basis, its significance as a force for the use of wound closure and related technologies must be tempered by the fact that surgical incisions are intentionally made and therefore are made by surgeons and other clinicians with advanced expectation of how the wound will be closed. By contrast, wounds of other types offer a degree of complexity and unpredictability that, even in their lower numbers, represent a markedly bigger challenge for clinicians to manage. Indeed, the most significant costs in wound management ensue from chronic wounds, which arise as a result of inadequate circulation, excess pressure, infection, complicating disease or conditions (e.g., diabetes, obesity) and other factors.
Below is illustrated the global distribution of wound prevalence by type of wound (2011).
Wound care products take many forms based on the type of function provided by the product, the wound type and its severity. Excluding for the moment the emerging array of physical wound healing systems (e.g., NPWT, hyperbaric oxygen, etc.), there are quite a number of combinations, and as new materials emerge, such as types of media or means to deliver wound care, the combinations are expected to multiply.
Below is illustrated a representation of wound product types, forms and applications. This now includes the rapidly growing field of growth factors in wound care, which may be delivered by many different methods, including carrier or media types.
Types and Uses of Wound Care Products
Sources: Murphy, P.S. et al. Plastic Surgery International Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 190436, 8 pagesdoi:10.1155/2012/190436; MedMarket Diligence, LLC, Report #S249.
Sales of products in global markets for wound management are in a fairly dynamic state of flux, especially for the very large, well established market that it is. Traditional wound management products — dressings and bandages that do little more than keep debris out of wounds — are being challenged aggressively by products playing a considerably more active role in accelerating wound healing and preventing the complications and costs inherent in chronic wounds.
The market for even commodity-like dressings products continues to grow, driven by increased prevalence of many wound types and supported by these products’ ease of use and low cost. However, the markets for more advanced products are growing at substantially higher rates as a result of the ability of these products (or the perception) to provide faster, less costly or otherwise better wound healing. The net effect is that all segments of wound management product sales are growing (see Exhibit 1), although a variable rates, resulting in considerable shifts in each segment’s share of the total wound market (see Exhibit 2).
Consequently, the rapid growth in sales of advanced products is shifting the balance of sales away from traditional products.
As rapid as the growth of advanced wound product sales is, there is still a long competitive battle to wrest control of a large share of wound management from traditional bandages and dressings (see Exhibit 3).
The history of wound management has been dominated by a simple premise of getting wounds closed, keeping them covered and letting the body heal itself. But the demand to accelerate the wound healing process, especially for a growing caseload of chronic wounds (driven by increased diabetes prevalence, aging population, and others) is driving a shift way from a passive role in wound management to one where materials are used to draw away exudate, kill bacteria, and maintain healing-optimized moisture levels; equipment is used to also remove exudate and otherwise stimulate the healing process; natural and bioengineered grafts are used to intervene for extreme wound types; growth factors and other biologicals are used to supplement the natural cascade of wound healing. In short, wound healing is moved from being eminently passive to decidedly active, with considerably more medtech and biotech, with less “low-tech” (e.g., simple bandages and dressings).
The resulting balance of the overall wound care market distributed across multiple product and technology types will represent markedly different pictures between now and the next decade.
Below is illustrated the shift in wound care technologies, from a percentage of total basis and absolute share of product revenues basis:
Source: MedMarket Diligence Report #S249, “Wound Management, Worldwide Market and Forecast to 2021: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Rest of World.” Published March 2013.
MedMarket Diligence has expanded its global wound care market analysis to address the current market and forecast outlook for growth factors developed and applied to accelerating wound care.
Extensive research has demonstrated that wound fluid is rich in growth factors. Growth factors are naturally occurring proteins found primarily in platelets and macrophages. They are needed for normal wound healing to promote growth and migration of fibroblasts, endothelial cells and keratinocytes.
For this reason, growth factors have been heavily studied and already have demonstrated their potential to advance wound care.
Report #S249, “Wound Management, Worldwide Market and Forecast to 2021: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Rest of World,” provides detailed global, regional and country-specific data on growth factors in wound care.