Tag Archives: medtech

Medical technologies at startups, July 2014

Below is a list of technologies under development at medical technology startups identified in July 2014 and included in the Medtech Startups Database.

  • thrombectomyInstrumentation for electrophysiology diagnosis and treatment.
  • Products for the treatment of hypertension and other chronic disease by interventional cardiologists
  • Surgical stapling device for use during natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery.
  • Low cost medical technologies to improve patient management in emerging markets.
  • Heart valve for the treatment of mitral valve regurgitation
  • Thrombectomy catheter
  • Microstaple bandage for wound closure.
  • Whole-body cryotherapy chambers as well as devices for local cryotherapy and cryosurgery.
  • Minimally invasive surgical device for the treatment of glaucoma
  • Electrical muscle stimulation.

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

Glucose monitoring research drives more promises than answers

If I had a nickel for every headline like this that ultimately failed, like the technology, to actually achieve the promise, I would be on a tropical beach sipping pina coladas:

“Glucose monitoring for diabetes made easy with a blood-less method” (link)

Technologies in development for less-invasive or non-invasive glucose monitoring are legion, and many are very promising, but you can’t fill out a deposit slip with these promises. Frequently, such alternatives are based on the premise of quantifying blood glucose by sensitively detecting glucose in other fluids (interstitial fluid, tears, saliva, urine, etc.) that do not require the use of lancets to draw blood. However, despite their sensitivity and other sophistication in detecting minute quantities of glucose, their “arm’s length” to actual blood glucose compounds the challenge by requiring that the test reproducibly correlate the sample values with actual, current blood glucose levels.

The challenge stands unanswered, while the burgeoning population of endlessly finger-pricked diabetics remains painfully unsatisfied.

As a practical reality, continuous blood glucose monitors like those from Dexcom and Medtronic offer far more to the diabetic population, not only by avoiding finger pricks but also by revealing the patterns in blood glucose levels over time as a result of activity, carbohydrate intake, insulin bolus, insulin basal rate, stress and countless other patient-specific determinants.

Medtech fundings for June 2014

Fundings in medical technology for the month of June totaled $445 million, led by fundings of Benvenue Medical ($64 million) and InSightec ($50 million).

Below are the top fundings in the month.

Company funding Product/technology
Benvenue Medical, Inc., has raised $64 million in a round of funding according to the company Minimally invasive implants for spine surgery
InSightec, Inc., has raised $50 million in a Series D round of funding according to the company MR-guided focused ultrasound
Pixium Vision has raised $46.7 million in an initial public offering according to press reports Implants to treat blindness
OrthoPediatrics Corp. has raised $39 million in a round of funding according to a regulatory filing Orthopedic implant technologies designed for pediatric use
Cheetah Medical, Inc., has raised $33.85 million in a round of funding according to a regulatory filing Non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring
Spinal Kinetics, Inc., has raised $33.85 million of a planned $34.77 million round of funding according to a regulatory filing Motion preservation systems, including artificial discs, for degenerative disc disease

For a complete list of medtech fundings in June 2014, see link.

For a full list of the fundings in medtech, by month, since 2009, see link.

Cosmetic surgery dominated by lipoplasty, breast augmentation

By comparison to reconstructive surgery, which is overwhelmingly dominated by one type (reconstruction associated with tumor removal), the global distribution of cosmetic surgery procedures is very fragmented, with more than a dozen different surgeries performed over 100,000 times annually. The dominant procedures remain lipoplasty and breast augmentation:

Worldwide Distribution of Cosmetic Surgery By Type

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 12.21.09 PM

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S710.

Technologies at Medtech Startups, May 2014

Below is a list of the new medical technologies under development at startups we identified in May 2014 and added to the Medtech Startups Database.

  • Patient positioning system for use in hip replacement and other orthopedic procedures.
  • Instrumentation to facilitate hip replacement surgery and other orthopedic instrumentation.
  • Drug-coated stent-valve designed to inhibit stenosis, obstruction or calcification of the valve.
  • Implants for the treatment of aneurysm.
  • Orthopedic implant technologies including a force sensor to measure performance of an orthopedic articular joint.
  • Insulin patch pump for treatment of insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes.
  • Undisclosed tissue vascular technology
  • Rapid, accurate, inexpensive diagnostic devices initially focused on malaria.
  • Device for diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Tumor-targeted drug delivery.
  • Near infrared technology for blood glucose monitoring in diabetes.
  • Non-resorbable films for anti-adhesion.
  • Angioplasty double balloon for treatment of peripheral vascular disease.
  • Device to reduce the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia.
  • Trocar, sleeve and tip for minimally invasive endoscopic surgery.

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

Reconstructive surgery is increasingly aesthetic

Reconstructive surgery is the subset of “plastic” surgery focused on correcting the anatomy, aesthetics, or both, for patients who have been treated for disease or trauma, which sets it apart from purely aesthetic procedures performed for people wishing to improve their appearance above and beyond what they were given by birth (excluding congenital defects) or to reduce the signs of aging.

Given the volume of the non-clinically-indicated aesthetic procedures, and their increasingly sophisticated techniques and technologies, reconstructive surgery specialists have integrated aesthetics advances and can now achieve spectacular results that go well beyond the simple reconstructive procedures of the past, which were much less effective in concealing the trace evidence of disease and trauma.

By far, the most common reconstructive procedures are to address the physical appearance resulting from the removal of tumors. In the U.S. alone, reconstruction for tumor removal is performed over 4 million times annually. The remainder of reconstructive procedures covers a gamut of major and minor trauma and diseases.

Below is the distribution of non-aesthetic (only) reconstructive procedures in the U.S.

reconstructive-pie

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S710.

Through 2018, the global medical reconstructive and aesthetic products market is expected to reach a value of about $10.7 billion. Energy-based products such as lasers will experience the highest growth level. In most geographical regions and particularly in the U.S. and Europe, there is a growing consumer demand for medical cosmetic procedures and through 2020, even the lower income groups are likely to demand for more procedures, as the treatments become increasingly main stream. During the past few years, practitioners in the U.S. were rather forced to implement discounts and now with the revival of the economy, the total fee growth is likely to rebound. Successful companies in the sector mostly rely on a formula for continued research and development, pursuing additional, new business opportunities to increase expertise and product offerings. These companies remain solidly active in the eyes of high-end dermatologists, plastic and cosmetic surgeons.  As the aesthetic market is all about new products, the companies will be left behind, if they do not come up a new product every now and then.


This post is drawn from, “Global Markets for Products and Technologies in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2013-2018″, Report #S710, published by MedMarket Diligence, LLC.  For details, see link/a>.

The Staying Power of Spine Surgery Markets

While medtech over the past five years has seen continued pressure on prices, increased oversight on physician-manufacturer relationships, reduced med/surg procedure volumes, continued regulatory challenges and the real or perceived negative impacts of the Affordable Care Act, the business of spine surgical technologies remains one of the most steadfast oases of innovation and price stability.

The continued growth of spine surgery owes itself to a number of key drivers:

  • The ageing population worldwide
  • Increasing incidence of obesity
  • A growing middle class in developing countries, with the ability to pay out of pocket for spine surgery
  • Improving worldwide economy
  • Technological device enhancements, leading to improved surgical results
  • Developments in minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) devices driving a strong increase in MISS, with its numerous advantages
  • In the US, improvements in reimbursement as clinical trials demonstrate the efficacy of treatments using the devices
  • US healthcare reform leading to medical insurance coverage for more people, allowing those suffering from intractable back pain to receive surgical treatment

(The last, of course, is debatable, since medical device manufacturers are not yet convinced that a 3.2% excise tax is supported by the anticipated boost in patient population. The jury is still out on this and, in any case, prospects for the 3.2% tax being repealed are slim, despite repeated efforts.)

Consequently, the worldwide aggregate spine surgery market has a 2012 to 2020 compound growth rate of 7.7%, with individual segments within it growing at a low of 2.3% to a high of 35.0%.

It is also worth noting that we have identified seven (7) new medtech startups (McGinley Orthopaedic Innovations, KB Medical, Trice Orthopedics, Tyber Medical, Direct Spinal Therapeutics, NLT Spine, Osseus Fusion Systems) in spine surgery that have been founded in the past three years alone.

Below is illustrated the spine surgery markets in the Americas and Europe for 2012-2020.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 10.33.52 AMScreen Shot 2014-05-28 at 10.34.10 AM

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #M520, “Worldwide Spine Surgery: Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities 2010-2020″.