Novel concepts and ideas to drive medical implant industry

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Over the past few years, medical implants have facilitated medical professionals to treat a wide variety of clinical conditions related to orthopaedics, cardiovascular, ophthalmology, cosmetics, and neurostimulation. Orthopaedic implant and neurostimulator segments are expected to offer huge market potential to the key players.

The key players in the medical implants industry employ novel concepts and ideas to improvise manufacturing techniques and the current set of products, so as to gain a competitive edge in the market. Therefore, these players have adopted product launches as their key developmental strategy in order to meet the increasing demands of end users. Further, the companies have also adopted other strategies such as strategic acquisitions, mergers, expansions, and collaborations.

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Each segment of medical implants market is almost consolidated in nature and is governed by different key players in the industry. For instance, Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific and Medtronic dominate stents segment. Similarly, DePuy Synthes, Zimmer Biomet and Smith & Nephew are the leading players in the orthopaedics market. DePuy Synthes leads the overall orthopaedics market with the largest and most comprehensive product portfolio of orthopaedics. It is also the leader in joint replacement segment with a broad product portfolio of hip and knee replacement and extremities. Likewise, Straumann dominated the dental segment in 2015, primarily due to a large number of successful product launches in dental implants market, which helped it to grow at a faster rate and gain a lead in the industry. As of 2015, the neurostimulator market was dominated by three major players, namely, Medtronic, St Jude Medical and Boston Scientific.

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Technological advancements — such as the VLSI-based chip architecture of AdvaStim’s ASICore technology, which provides multi-channel switching and electrode programming capabilities — led the market to grow at a steady rate. These innovations are enabling the companies to develop new and better medical implants providing advance healthcare solutions in unmet clinical areas.

The medical implants market has become consolidated due to a large number of strategic acquisitions in the industry. These acquisitions enabled the key players to rapidly expand their business operations of the respective segments in implantable devices industry.

Top Winning Strategies: Percentage Distribution (2014-2016)

Among the analysed strategies, product approvals were the key strategy adopted by the key players in the medical implants market. For instance, in April 2016, Medtronic received the US FDA approval for The Micra TPS, which is the world’s smallest pacemaker; it also obtained CE Mark approval for this product in April 2015. Prior to this, Zimmer Biomet launched the hip replacement and knee implant systems, enabling the company to expand its implant and musculoskeletal treatment product portfolio.

Furthermore, the companies have also adopted the inorganic strategy of acquisitions and mergers to increase their market share and sustain their leading positions in the industry. For instance, in October 2015 St Jude Medical acquired Thoratec, a medical devices company based in the United States. This acquisition helped St Jude Medical to increase its market share in the ventricular assist devices (VADs) segment, thus offering innovative technologies for heart failure treatment. As a result, the company leads the overall VADs market. Moreover, in April 2016, Abbott Laboratories made an announcement to acquire St Jude Medical. This acquisition will enable Abbott to build its leading position in the high-growth cardiovascular segments (such as structural heart and heart failure and atrial fibrillation) as well as in the neuromodulation market.

Following are some other strategic developments in the medical implants industry:

February 2016: Biotronik received the CE Mark approval for a series of ICDs and CRT-Ds with MRI AutoDetect and ProMRI technology. It enhanced its cardiac device business segment. Along with this, Boston Scientific received the FDA approval for quadripolar left ventricular (LV) leads. With this approval, Boston Scientific began a global trial to expand MRI labelling in Asia and the US. In addition, the company will also offer a full CRT system including leads in the US market.

October 2015: St Jude Medical acquired Thoratec, a medical devices company based in the US. This acquisition has enabled St Jude Medical to produce mechanical circulatory support (MCS) technology used for treating advanced heart failure. This acquisition strengthened its product offerings for heart failure treatment technologies and the company has now become a leader in the ventricular assist devices market.

In addition, St Jude Medical also received the CE mark approval for HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) for advanced heart failure patients. This approval helped the company to enhance its VAD portfolio in Europe.

March 2015: Sorin (Italy) signed a merger agreement with Cyberonics (US), which established LivaNova as the holding company of the combined business of both Sorin and Cyberonics. This merger helped in the expansion of business into two new segments namely cardiac rhythm management and cardiac surgery, which has led to an increase in sales of LivaNova.

The author, Snehal Chougule, is a keynote senior consultant on digital marketing at Allied Market Research. She has been recognized for developing a robust social network strategy for the company. Chougule has written several whitepapers, case studies, and articles. She is a visiting faculty member at various educational institutions and has expertise in life sciences and medical devices.


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