Research included in the Frost & Sullivan outlook identifies market sectors and sub-sectors poised for expansion; discusses key opportunities in emerging markets; identifies the four Rs in the medical device spectrum; and covers strategies for success in the new market paradigm. A timeline of the future of medical technology development is included as are the competitor landscape and a critical country analysis as well as the impact of technology trends. Final thoughts include new marketplace strategies for success and implications for organizations in this industry.
Top Five Growth Sectors
New technologies, including transcatheter valves and congestive heart failure products, are poised to expand access of care to high-risk patients, who otherwise had no options.
Higher levels of specialty training, coupled with newer and more advanced solutions, are expected to bolster growth in robot-assisted technologies for surgery and treatment planning.
Infection Control Tools
The attention paid to hospital acquired infections (HAI) and associated costs continues to intensify the market appetite for new tools and systems for reducing occurrences.
Wellness initiatives, remote monitoring tools, and a push to extend care outside of hospital walls are spurring rapid advancement in novel medical products that can be used in home care settings.
Significant expansion of interventional and implantable medical devices to treat brain disorders is expected as new technologies are able to advance care beyond current standards.
Top 5 Technology Trends
The rise of new technologies capable of integrating medical devices into a connected platform enhances the functionality of devices, reduces man power burden, and minimizes errors.
Due to price sensitivity and availability of floor space, highly-specialized pieces of equipment are losing out in purchase decision making to versatile systems capable of addressing multiple needs.
The amount of health care data being captured due to recent IT infrastructure upgrades is expected to greatly enhance ‘smart’ and AI functionality for diagnostic and treatment devices.
Cost-containment initiatives are spurring new types of innovation in medical technologies that provide comparable diagnostic and therapeutic utility at fractions of the cost.
Nanotechnology provides the benefits of biocompatibility and functionality at an unparalleled scale, allowing it to be better able to influence diseases happening at a cellular level.
Five Companies to Watch
Johnson & Johnson
Major restructuring of the company in 2012 introduced a new CEO and the consolidation of multiple device franchises into three units. Aggressive portfolio management is expected in 2013 as it sheds sluggish businesses and enters into new markets via acquisitions.
Medtronic’s 2012 Kanghui acquisition exemplifies the emphasis of emerging markets in the company’s long term vision. In the US, expected 2013 approvals for transcatheter and renal denervation technologies would provide access to two hot-growth treatments.
In early 2013, Stryker announced acquisition of a Chinese orthopedic implant developer. Value-based devices and access to emerging markets are increasingly driving industry M&A activity. Stryker is also expected to make a play in robot assisted surgery as well.
Covidien has been steadily building its portfolio of products via acquisitions to transition from commoditized markets to those with significant growth potential. Now that it has established a presence, the company is expected to be much more aggressive in capturing share.
St. Jude Medical
While St. Jude Medical faces weakening sales for its core markets of pacemakers, ICDs, and artificial heart valves, it is well-positioned in the hot-growth markets of transcatheter valves, fractional flow reserve (FFR) testing, cardiac ablation, neuromodulation, and renal denervation.
- Cutting costs and internal resource management are more critical to market viability than a growing top line.
- Shifts in healthcare spending change the factors impacting market traction making innovation necessary.
- Overhaul sales strategies to optimize for a consolidated customer base are driven by outcomes and value.
- Maximizing emerging market strategies are achieved by targeting regions and cities, not countries.
- The role of the patient is more important in determining treatment and burden of pay for healthcare services.
Three Big Predictions for 2013
- A hyper-pressurized, cost-containment environment will likely accelerate cost-cutting measures from companies adjusting to the realities of the new marketplace.
- Patient influence in treatment selection is magnified due to increasing access to information and greater shifts in financial burden. The launch of health exchanges and rollbacks in employer-covered plans could lead to more distinct tiers of coverage.
- Emerging market needs drive decision making for companies regarding mergers and acquisition (M&A) strategy and product development. With financial resources and on-the-ground infrastructure previously required, companies found it difficult to fully invest in emerging market strategies.
Medical Devices Market Outlook
2012 was a year of transition for the industry as a number of macroeconomic and regulatory events came to a head. The industry essentially closed the chapter on a market era, starting in the mid 1990s that included an explosion of new technologies, advances in care, and significant market expansion. In that time period, with the majority of growth occurring in established markets of the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan companies were easily able to focus and funnel resources. For an industry tied to government spending for a significant portion of services that unbridled growth quickly becomes unsustainable. As historic demand for services were compounded with higher costs of care per service, the market quickly hit a saturation point that led to reimbursement caps in the US, and austerity measures in Europe.
Looking forward, 2013 seems to be the beginning of a new era in the marketplace that is more sensitive to the value of care. Historically, the market needle was tied nearly exclusively to the launch of new and groundbreaking products that could advance current treatment paradigms. While the opportunities for those sorts of developments still exist, the threshold has shifted for what constitutes an advancement in the market is willing to justify increased spending for. Due to continued pricing pressure, profitability will depend on more sophisticated market strategy related maneuverings to position product offerings for value-conscious consumers.
Market Forecast Discussion
The market witnessed a slowdown from 2008–2011, triggered by the economic recession, which resulted in cost-containment measures in the US, austerity measures in Europe, and market stagnation in Japan. Those pressures are unlikely to ease in the near term. While there are opportunities for certain new treatments, most mature markets could see a gradual decline as reimbursement cuts are enacted.
Growth strategies in emerging markets have proven critical to long-term success for most upper-tier medical device manufacturers. Despite the clear opportunity, the differences in healthcare systems on a country by country basis have made execution of strategies challenging.