Where will medicine be in 2035?

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.”

Acute Stroke Therapeutics and a $1.7+ Billion Neurointerventional Worldwide Market; MMD Report

Stroke is a costly condition with a growing patient population targeted neurointerventional treatments that will account for hundreds of millions in sales over the next five years, according to a recent MedMarket Diligence report.

Acute stroke therapeutics are focused almost exclusively on patients’ cardiopulmonary and hemodynamic support and ad hoc containment of dangerous complications and corresponding brain damage associated with stroke. Among the life-threatening complications that commonly accompany acute cerebral hemorrhage or ischemia are cerebral edema; hydrocephalus; brain stem compression; vasospasm and pulmonary embolism. These therapeutic technologies will account for $323 million in new revenue from 2015 to 2019, according to the recently published MedMarket Diligence report, “Emerging Global Market for Neurointerventional Technologies in Stroke, 2014-2019”, details

“Stroke is associated with costly long-term care, especially for a patient population that is typically older and more susceptible to its complications, but neurointerventional treatment have succeeded in both making a positive clinical impact and securing respectable revenue streams for manufacturers,” says Patrick Driscoll of MedMarket Diligence. These technologies will continue to develop and improve over the next five years, but much growth will also come from the penetration by these technologies in non-U.S. markets, where relative use is lower and shows untapped potential.

Stroke is a life-threatening medical condition characterized by a sudden catastrophic breakdown in the brain-supporting cerebrovascular system and blood supply, which, in many instances, is followed by an irreversible injury to the brain cells and severe neurological impairment or death.

Notwithstanding the remarkable progress in medical science and technology and associated improvements in clinical practices, stroke continues to constitute the major public health problem in the U.S. and overseas.

The $1.5 billion global market for acute stroke management is revealed in detail in the MedMarket Diligence report #C310, “Emerging Global Market for Neurointerventional Technologies in Stroke, 2014-2019”, (see http://mediligence.com/c310/). The report is a detailed market and technology assessment and forecast of the products and technologies in the management of acute stroke. The report describes the epidemiology, etiology and management of hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and transient ischemic attack, characterizing the patient populations, their current clinical management, and trends in clinical management as new techniques and technologies are expected to be developed and emerge. The report details the currently available products and technologies, and the manufacturers offering them. The report details the products and technologies under development and markets for each in the treatment of acute stroke. The report provides a current and forecast to 2019 by region /country for the U.S., Western Europe, the major Asia-Pacific states (China, India, and Japan), and the rest of world. The report profiles the most top companies in this industry, providing status and forecast data on their current products, current market position, and products under development.

The report is described in detail at http://mediligence.com/c310/ and may be ordered for immediate download from https://shop.mediligence.com/index.php/downloads/c310/.

 

Technologies in Development at Medtech Startups, October 2015

In our flurry of activity in October, we overlooked summarizing the new medical technologies identified at startups and added to the Medtech Startups Database:

  • Neodymium vaginal dilator for treatment of pelvic pain.
  • Large bore, power injection vascular access
  • Surgical instruments for use in bariatrics.
  • Surgical oncology.
  • Spine surgical technology including expandable intervertebral cage.
  • Technologies to treat hearing loss.
  • Device to determine blood vessel size.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid shunt.
  • Focused ultrasonic surgical devices for hemostasis, cauterization, and ablation.
  • Collagen polymers to create 3D tissue systems for drug discovery, engineered tissue/organ, wound management, and 3D bioprinting.
  • Regenerative medicine to treat brain injury or damage.
  • Neuro-monitoring and neuro-critical care.
  • Orthomusculoskeletal implants.
  • Devices and methods for hip replacement
  • Intraoperative image system.
  • Exocentric medical device
  • Electro-hydraulic generated shockwave for cosmetic, medical applications.

For a historical listing of technologies at medtech startups, see link.

Growth in Treatment of Acute Stroke

Drawn from Report #C310, “Emerging Global Market for Neurointerventional Technologies in Stroke, 2014-2019”, published by MedMarket Diligence, LLC.

Therapeutic management of stroke encompasses a broad scope of prophylactic, palliative and curative treatment modalities that are typically employed in some combinations during the preventive, acute and rehabilitation phases of stroke-related care delivery.

Historically, prevention has been universally regarded as the best form of medicine for dealing with any disease. This old wisdom is especially true in management of acute stroke, which represents a catastrophic event with a largely predetermined clinical progression and outcome that stem from the patient’s preexisting pathologies and can be only marginally altered with available emergent therapies.

The commonly accepted, current strategy of primary and secondary stroke prevention is focused on elimination or remedying of the modifiable risk factors that have been shown to create a general predisposition or directly contribute to the onset of acute cerebral ischemia or/and hemorrhage.

Within the context of general population, this strategy is targeting alleviation of certain lifestyle risk factors (such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, high-fat diet etc.), which could contribute to the development of cardiovascular and other pathologies associated with increased propensity to stroke.

In patient caseloads with preexisting medical conditions (AFib, mechanical prosthetic valves, recent AMI, stoke or TIA, hypertension, diabetes, etc.) which are characterized by a high risk of adverse vascular events potentially leading to stroke, preventive strategy is focused on reducing such risks via a strict control and monitoring of corresponding hemostatic and hemodynamic parameters.

Finally, in persons with diagnosed cerebrovascular pathologies (high grade carotid stenosis, intracranial aneurysms and AVMs) the first line preventive therapy involves their repair or eradication, when technically possible.

The scope of FDA-approved medical and interventional modalities commonly employed in preventive management of stroke includes oral anticoagulation, antiplatelet, and lipid-lowering drug therapies, cerebral aneurysm and AVM repair surgery, carotid endarterectomy, stereotactic radiosurgery, as well as endovascular embolization of intracranial aneurysms and AVMs, carotid artery stenting with embolic protection, left atrial appendage closure, along with  rarely used and likely to be abandoned intracranial stenting.

In contrast to causes-oriented therapies used in stroke prevention, therapeutic modalities employed in the emergent management of acute stroke are focused almost exclusively on patients’ cardiopulmonary and hemodynamic support and ad hoc containment of dangerous complications and corresponding brain damage associated with stroke.

Among the life-threatening complications that commonly accompany acute cerebral hemorrhage or ischemia are cerebral edema; hydrocephalus; brain stem compression; vasospasm and pulmonary embolism.

Management of the aforementioned acute complications relies on a few proven treatment regimens, including (but not limited to):

  • medical therapy and catheter-based ventricular drainage of cerebrospinal fluid to control intracerebral pressure in patients at risk of edema, hydrocephalus or brain stem compression;
  • hypertensive hypervolemic hemodilution (or “triple-H” therapy) to treat ischemic neurological deficit from vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage;
  • subcutaneous anticoagulation (with heparins or heparinoids) for prophylaxis of pulmonary embolism (which accounts for approximately 10% of deaths following stroke); and
  • elective hypothermia for temporary salvaging brain cells from necrosis due to hemorrhagic trauma or acute ischemia (although the latter technique has not been proven efficacious in clinical trials and was not endorsed in the latest, 2007 versions of the AHA hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke guidelines).

The currently available curative treatment options for acute stroke are limited to intravenous t-PA therapy (which has about 30% efficacy and is indicated for a very narrow cohort of eligible ischemic stroke patients only), investigational intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy, transcatheter cerebral thrombectomy (in patients who did not qualify for or failed t-PA therapy), and emergency craniotomy-based or endoscopic removal of stroke-related hematoma (which carries a 50% to 80% risk of mortality and is reserved for rapidly deteriorating young patients with large lobar hemorrhages).

Rehabilitation phase of stroke management relies on general physiotherapeutic techniques commonly used in patients with various physical and neurological disabilities. Prophylactics of recurrent cerebrovascular events in stroke survivors employs medical and interventional regimens referred to in the overview of primary and secondary stroke prevention.


Drawn from Report #C310, “Emerging Global Market for Neurointerventional Technologies in Stroke, 2014-2019”, published by MedMarket Diligence, LLC.

 

Coronary Stent takes largest total market share to 59.6%

The global trend is for a continued decrease in the number of CABG procedures and an increase in the number of percutaneous coronary intervention procedures. Typically about 90% of all percutaneous coronary intervention procedures use a coronary stent in the developed economies with approximately 75% of all procedures that use stents do so with drug-eluting stents (DES) and this percentage continues to increase.

For the vast majority of cases of coronary artery disease, the treatment options are typically limited to angioplasty alone or with stents or coronary artery bypass grafting. Aside from the advent of new device and equipment technologies to perform coronary artery bypass via catheter or otherwise in minimally invasive formats (such as minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass, or MIDCAB), the market for the treatment of coronary artery bypass is largely represented by interventional cardiology, comprised of the following products:

  • Global sales of coronary guide wires, balloon dilatation catheters, guiding catheters and accessories
  • Stents
  • Vascular closure devices

See the White Paper on Coronary Stents (see the “DOWNLOAD” button) and the associated report, “The Future of Coronary Artery Disease Medical Devices to 2021“, published by Smithers Apex.

Global trends in spine surgery, 2015 to 2021

The global spine surgery market, which is largely stable in terms of technologies and the dominance of the U.S. market, will demonstrate the most significant change through 2021 through an increasing share of spine surgeries done minimally invasively and a noticeable shift of sales to OUS, especially to China, Japan, and India.

See the relative growth from 2015 to 2021 in the charts below (the proprietary data in axes values omitted, but the sales for North America and Asia-Pacific are presented on the same vertical scale for comparison purposes).

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #M540.

 

Trend in Endovascular Acute Stroke Management Procedures

Therapeutic management of stroke encompasses a broad scope of prophylactic, palliative and curative treatment regimens that are typically employed in some combinations during the preventive, acute and rehabilitation phases of stroke-related care delivery.

Over the past two decades, one could witness the advent and significant expansion of the neurointerventional armamentarium targeting management of acute stroke. In mid-1990s, endovascular coiling embolization tools and techniques for treatment of cerebral aneurysms and AVMs (arterio-venous malformations) were introduced as a less invasive alternative to craniotomy-based surgery in primary prevention of hemorrhagic stroke. Several years later, these techniques were supplemented with coil-containing stents, which enabled treatment of large, giant, and wide-neck aneurysms. The latter was followed by the launch of stent-based flow diversion systems, which allowed clinicians to hemoisolate such aneurysms without tedious and risky coil packing of the rupture-prone aneurysmal sac.

In primary ischemic stroke prevention, development of embolically-protected carotid stenting and left atrial appendage closure techniques provided clinicians with an option of using non-inferior transcatheter tools instead of customary surgical interventions.

Finally, a recent launch of the novel stent-based cerebral thrombectomy systems manifested a qualitative breakthrough in emergent treatment of acute cerebral ischemia, where marginally effective and severely caseloads restrictive intravenous tPA therapy represented the only available therapeutic option.

Presently, endovascular techniques are increasingly seen and used by practicing clinicians as preferred therapeutic modalities in prophylaxis and treatment of acute stroke and are likely to expand their role in the years to come.

Worldwide Trend in Endovascular Acute Stroke Management Procedures, 2014-2019

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #C310, “Emerging Global Market for Neurointerventional Technologies in Stroke, 2014-2019”.

Growth in endovascular thrombectomy accelerating globally

First generation thrombectomy systems, despite their allure, have not fared well against standard medical (and tPA) therapy, since the endovascular retrieval of clots did not result in improved patient outcomes.

However, clinical trials of second generation systems and interviews with clinicians and industry support the common perception that the cumulative worldwide volume of cerebral thrombectomy procedures is projected to experience accelerated growth through 2019, resulting in an 10.8% overall average annual expansion of corresponding interventions in the to an estimated 56.2 thousand total procedures worldwide in 2019.

The fastest cerebral thrombectomy procedural gains (11.4% and 11.7% annually) are likely to be registered in major Asian state and the U.S., followed by largest Western European countries and rest of the world (9.9% and 7.8% annually).

See incidence of ischemic stroke and compound growth in thrombectomy in the major global markets.
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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #C310.

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #C310.

Cerebral Aneurysm and AVM Embolization System Suppliers

In recent years, transcatheter embolization techniques have emerged as a mainstay treatment modality in repair of rupture-prone cerebral aneurysms and indispensable pre-surgical adjunct in treatment of intracranial AVMs.

Aside from the ongoing (but gradually moderating in the U.S. Europe and Japan) migration of patients from open surgical to minimally invasive neurovascular embolization techniques, consistent and robust growth in this market was driven by the introduction of improved and premium-priced embolic coil designs, launch of coil containing stents and flow diversion devices for wide neck aneurysms, and increasing utilization of user-friendly liquid embolics in AVM (and selected wide neck aneurysm) applications. In the forthcoming years, the cited growth factors are likely to stay in place supporting further expansion of cerebral aneurysm and AVM transcatheter embolization business.

In 2014, endovascular embolization techniques were employed in approximately 90.5 thousand cerebral aneurysm and AVM repair procedures worldwide, of which aneurysm targeting interventions accounted for about 89.2%, with the rest contributed by AVMs hemoisolation.

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #C310.

Medtech Startups, 2010-2015

From 2010 to present (Oct 2015), as included in the Medtech Startups Database, MedMarket Diligence identified 442 new (under one year old) medical technology startups whose businesses encompass, alone or in combination, medical devices, diagnostics, biomaterials, and the subset of both biotech and pharma that is in direct competition with medical devices, including tissue engineering and cell therapy. Of these, 74% were founded in the U.S., 5% were founded in Israel, and the rest were founded in 18 other countries.

Companies in the database have been categorized by clinical and/or technology area of focus, with multiple categories possible (e.g., minimally invasive and orthomusculoskeletal and surgery). Below is the composition of the companies identified from Jan. 2010 to Oct. 2015.

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Source: Medtech Startups Database

Below is a graphic on the companies by country. The U.S. (not shown) led with 327 companies.

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Source: Medtech Startups Database

In the U.S., the breakdown by state, other than California and its 466 companies (excluded only to show states with significantly lower numbers), is as follows:

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Source: Medtech Startups Database