The market for wound management products — as varied as negative pressure wound therapy, skin grafts, hydrogel dressings, and growth factors — is a sort of free-for-all of offerings designed to accelerate healing, reduce treatment costs, yield better outcomes, or all of these and more. With so many sectors, and with well-established ones tending toward commodity, there can be many competitors, with few having significant market shares. Yet in several areas, quite remarkable growth is still available. Excluding traditional bandage and dressings, three companies — S&N, Acelity and Mölnlycke — control over half the worldwide market.
The MedMarket Diligence 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,” is detailed at link and is available for purchase and download online.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Even excluding the three traditional wound care dressing segments, the advanced wound care market is enormous — over the next ten years, it will grow at a compound annual growth rate of at least 7.7%, and is forecast to reach nearly $16 billion by 2024. This market is being driven by several inter-related factors: the increasing percentage of the aged (65years old and over) in country populations, the fact that people are living longer, obesity, the virtually epidemic rise of Type 2 diabetes, government policies intended to curb healthcare spending, and an increasingly sedentary population. The latter trend is seen especially in developed countries, but is also on the rise in less-developed countries as their economic standing improves and the middle class grows in numbers.
Certain product segments are forecast to have stronger growth than others. Sales of bioengineered skin & skin substitutes for wound care will increase at a CAGR of at least 15%, while sales of foam and hydrocolloid dressings will be growing at high single-digit rates, respectively.
Wound care product sales are growing at wildly variable rates around the world, with extremes spanning from the emergence of new technologies in rapidly growing economies to the technologies with low innovation in sluggish economies.
MedMarket Diligence’s global analysis of wound care products, technologies, companies and markets reveals the full spectrum of growth rates for well established to rapidly emerging products.
Below is illustrated the high growth country/product segments in wound management, reflecting the rapid adoption of new technologies such as growth factors and bioengineered skin, as well as older products such as alginates that are gaining sales in rapidly developing economies.
Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; 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.”
At the other end of the extreme are those very well established products growing at less than anemic rates in countries where the economy is not as robust and/or where the growth has been superseded by sales of more novel products. Conventional dressings and bandages offer considerably less demand than do growth factors, bioengineered skin and skin substitutes and similar new products.
Of course, growth of sales in wound management products (and any product) is defined as the percentage change in sales volume over time. Smaller markets (typically soon after they have formed as a result of their initial commercialization) tend to grow on a percentage basis much faster. Indeed, a $1 dollar sale in year 1 followed by a $2 sale in year 2 represents a 100% growth rate, while a $1 increase in sales from year 1 to year 2 for a $100 million market represents virtually zero growth. Conversely, a 1% increase in a $1.75 billion market is a $17.5 million increase. This is indeed obvious, but must be kept in mind when considering the growth rates discussed above.
Worldwide Wound Management, 2008-2017: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Rest of World
250 pages · 60 Exhibits · 60 Company Profiles · Report #S247 · September 2009
This report details the complete range of products and technologies used in wound management and wound care, from dressings, bandages, hydrogels, tissue engineered products, physical treatments and others. The report details current clinical and technology developments in this huge worldwide market with high growth sectors, with data on products in development and on the market; market size and forecast; competitor market shares; competitor profiles; and market opportunity.
This report details the current and projected market for wound management products, including dressings, closure devices, debridement, pharmacological products, tissue engineered products and others. Particular emphasis is placed on advanced and leading edge developments (i.e., those approaching wound management from novel perspective) such as growth factors, stem cells, gene therapy and other approaches, while baseline data (current and forecast market size and current competitor market shares) is provided for established segments — multiple dressings types (film, foam, alginate, antibacterial, non-adherent), hydrogels, hydrocolloids, pharmaceuticals, and physical treatments. The report details the clinical and technology developments underlying the huge and evolving worldwide wound care market, with data on products in development and on the market; market size and forecast; competitor market shares; competitor profiles; and market opportunity. Separate size, growth and competitor data are presented for the U.S., leading western European countries, Japan and the Rest of World category. The report profiles leading and emerging companies, with profiles providing detailed profile information on major competitors, brief profiles of companies with less sizeable current or potential positions in the market, and additional profiles of companies with novel or advanced wound care research activities in the market.
The report establishes the current worldwide market size for major technology segments as a baseline for and projecting growth in the market over a ten-year forecast and assesses and projects the composition of the market as technologies gain or lose relative market performance over this period.
(Update, March 2013: MedMarket Diligence has published its 2013 report #S249 on the Worldwide Wound Management Market.)
Wound management encompasses a wide range of products: fabric dressings, first aid dressings, dressings and internal wound management products for surgery, advanced wound management products, active pharmaceutical wound care products, tissue engineering, physical therapies for wound care, and pressure relief products and skin treatments, for preventative wound management.
Following is an excerpt on wound prevalence from the 2007 MedMarket Diligence report #S245, “Worldwide Wound Management, 2007-2016: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Rest of World.” See also the related report #S175 on “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues and Wound Closure, 2009-2013.”
Surgical wounds account for the vast majority of skin injuries. We estimate that there are over 100 million surgical incisions a year, which require some wound management treatment. Approximately 80% of these wounds use some form of closure product (sutures, staples, and tapes). Many employ hemostasis products, and use fabric bandages and surgical dressings.
Surgical wounds are projected to increase in number at an annual rate of 3.1%, but overall the severity and size of surgical wounds will continue to decrease over the next ten years as a result of the continuing trend toward minimally invasive surgery.
Surgical procedures generate a preponderance of acute wounds with uneventful healing and a lower number of chronic wounds, such as those generated by wound dehiscence or post-operative infection. Surgical wounds are most often closed by primary intention, using products such as sutures, staples, or glues, where the two sides across the incision line are brought close and mechanically held together. Surgical wounds that involve substantial tissue loss or may be infected are allowed to heal by secondary intention where the wound is left open under dressings and allowed to fill by granulation and close by epithelialization. Some surgical wounds may be closed through delayed primary intention where they are left open until such time as it is felt it is safe to suture or glue the wound closed.
A significant feature of all wounds is the likelihood of pathological infection occurring. Surgical wounds are no exception, and average levels of infection of surgical wounds are 7 to 10 percent dependent on the procedure. These infections can be prevented by appropriate cleanliness, surgical discipline and skill, wound care therapy, and antibiotic prophylaxis. Infections usually lead to more extensive wound care time, the use of more expensive products and drugs, significantly increased therapist time, and increased morbidity and rehabilitation time. A large number of wounds will also be sutured to accelerate closure, and a proportion of these will undergo dehiscence and require aftercare for healing to occur.
There are estimated to be 1.5 million cases of traumatic wounding every year. These wounds required cleansing and treatment with low adherent dressings to cover them, prevent infection, and allow healing by primary intention. Lacerations are a specific type of trauma wound that are generally more minor in nature and require cleansing and dressing for a shorter period of healing. Lacerations occur frequently (approximately 19 million cases a year) as a result of cuts and grazes and can usually be treated within the doctor’s surgery and outpatient medical center and hospital accident and emergency department.
Burn wounds can be divided into minor burns, medically treated, and hospitalized cases. Out-patient burn wounds are often treated at home, at the doctor’s surgery, or at outpatient clinics. As a result a large number of these wounds never enter the formal health service system. We estimate that approximately 3.3 million burns in this category do enter the outpatient health service system and receive some level of medical attention. These burns use hydrogels and advanced wound care products, and may even be treated with consumer based products for wound healing. Medically treated burn wounds usually get more informed care to remove heat from the tissue, maintain hydration, and prevent infection. Advanced wound care products are used on these wounds. Approximately 6.3 million burns like this are treated medically every year. Hospitalized burn wounds are rarer and require more advanced and expensive care. These victims require significant care, nutrition, debridement, tissue grafting and often tissue engineering where available. They also require significant aftercare and rehabilitation to mobilize new tissue, and physiotherapy to address changes in physiology.
Chronic Wounds Chronic wounds generally take longer to heal and care is enormously variable, as is the time to healing. There are approximately 7.4 million pressure ulcers in the world that require treatment every year. Many chronic wounds around the world are treated sub-optimally with general wound care products designed to cover and absorb some exudate. The optimal treatment for these wounds is to receive advanced wound management products and appropriate care to address the underlying defect that has caused the chronic wound; in the case of pressure ulcers the causal effect is pressure and a number of advanced devices exist to reduce pressure for patients. There are approximately 11 million venous ulcers, and 11.3 million diabetic ulcers in the world requiring treatment. Chronic wounds are growing in incidence due to the growing age of the population, and due mostly to awareness and improved diagnosis. At present these factors are contributing to growth of this pool of patients faster than the new technologies are reducing the incidence of wounds by healing them.
Wound management products are also used for a number of other conditions including amputations, carcinomas, melanomas, and other complicated skin cancers, which are all on the increase.
Worldwide Wound Prevalence by Etiology, 2007
Source: MedMarket Diligence report #S245.
See the 2013 Worldwide Wound Management Market report #S249.