Where are the €30 bn of the Minimally Invasive Surgery market to be found?

Estimates of the market value of Minimally Invasive Surgery medtech equipment varies from €25 bn to €31 bn for the 2016 market worldwide. Even more impressive is its growth rate of 7.8-10.8% CAGR.

Across the globe –whether evaluating an emerging market or a highly industrialized economy – one principle driving factor of healthcare administration and commercial markets is consistently the same. In a nutshell, this driver consists of financial constraints, paired with growing healthcare costs and patient demand/expectations, which is intertwined with the challenges of rising chronic illnesses and an ageing population.

Trends illustrate a not-so-distant future hospital landscape where hospitals are turning into complete ICUs, where all simple care has been re-located and removed, to other settings, such as home, or to other specialized institutions.

Unsustainability of the traditional hospital model

The age-old model of hospital-based care is already no longer financially viable, over 30% of hospitals in certain high-income EU countries are operating in the red, or, when looking at the other end of the economic spectrum, developing nation’s secondary care is often so thinly stretched, that only 50% of citizens can be publicly covered when requiring healthcare.

Outpatient programs, DRG’s and Bundled Hospital (payment) Packages are examples of financial schemes designed in an attempt to curb costs, drive competition, and encourage innovation in surgical procedures and treatment models. Continuously hospitals are expected to provide more: more services, more procedures, more medical devices being used, more patients being treated; quicker, safer and cheaper, -yet at the same time, the reimbursements that public funds (can) allocate them are decreasing.

Medtech’s role in healthcare affordability

Medtech’s objective for a long time was to improve techniques and outcomes, now it is often simply maintaining quality outcomes; allowing existing procedures and or new ones to be accomplished safely and effectively somewhere else, at a lower cost.

Medtech is continuously seeking new ways to reduce healthcare risks, recuperation times, and increase efficiency in clinical/medical procedures. Only innovative, cost and time saving devices shall differentiate themselves in this highly competitive market. Minimal Invasive Procedures, as opposed to more traditional Open procedures, are certainly the medical equivalent of a paradigm shift.

Benefits of Minimal Invasive Surgery

In general terms, it can be said that with Minimal Invasive Surgery (MIS):

  • Risks are reduced
  • Smaller and fewer (or no) incisions and scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • – all of which boils down to- lesser costs for the hospital

A strong example of the immense benefits of MIS, is the TAVI procedure, in one of the most high-risk specialisms, cardiology. By working through vessels and reaching the heart through existing channels/vessels, accessed through minimally invasive incisions elsewhere in the body, the severity of an open heart surgery and the un-treatability of inoperable patients is circumvented. Survival rates after TAVI, as opposed to open surgery, have proven to be up to 20-30% higher, with incremental benefits with each year that passes after a high-risk patient underwent TAVI. The mere notion that a patient’s chest does not need to be broken open, nor does it require a heart-lung machine, is indicative enough, that minimally invasive TAVI is less traumatic to the patient than open heart surgery. Accordingly, as stated, recovery time is less, personnel costs are saved in the hospital, monitoring and critical care devices can be utilized elsewhere, and the patient can be released to return responsibly to the comfort of their homes more speedily.

The future of medtech is more than ever in product development, new cost-saving technologies, the application of e-health, and other solutions to reduce the pressure of growing healthcare demands and populations.

Pursuing the right (sustainable) market

The questions are:

  • How big are different MIS markets? For which procedures and specialisms is it particularly important?
  • What are the trends? What are the growth rates?
  • With what procedures is it not being used?
  • Which clinical paths and procedures require my MIS technology, and which require Open-procedure medtech?

The competitive advantage available through myToolsforGrowth from TforG

It is a competitive advantage to Medtech providers to know which markets are trending with which medical procedures, in order to know what medtech is being used and demanded. The TforG business intelligence platform myToolsforGrowth now offers a filtered view, showing which surgical procedures are being performed by MIS and which are Open. Since MIS is strongly on the rise, TforG is providing critical insights as to where it is being used the most, or the least, and where it shows growth potential, to get on top of market trends and embrace the market potential with suited/matching medical devices.

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About Laura Weynants

Performs primary and secondary market research to create country reports at TforG. Interviews KOLs and medical sector professionals to build on TforG’s healthcare market expertise and competence networks. Complementing five years of sustainability policy and CSR communication, she now focuses on grasping key medical market trends, structures and opportunities in medical sectors worldwide. Coming from an international background of living in Germany, Spain, USA, UK and Belgium, she has gained a keen insight in international organizations and language skills to perform first hand investigations. She graduated from Sussex University Brighton, UK with a BA English Literature and Sociology and achieved a Master Degree in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in EOI Business School in Madrid, Spain.