5 key trends driving the spine & orthopedic device market development today

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

Medacta is an international spine and orthopedic device company with a unique perspective on healthcare trends across the world.

"There are a tremendous amount of opportunities in the global market for collaboration of international surgeons to find implant/instrument solutions for tomorrow," says David Sponsel, Vice President of Sales, Spine Division, Medacta USA.


Here are five key trends from Mr. Sponsel:


1. Efficient surgical trays. Efficiency is paramount for operating rooms to maximize the time and resources spent on each procedure.


"Focusing on hospital economic sustainability, we're continuing to see trends toward reduced implant pricing and hospitals demanding a way for companies to deliver more efficient solution as it pertains to instrument and implant trays in the operating room," says Mr. Sponsel. "Needing fewer instruments for a procedure or using sterile single-use implant packages, for example, reduces the sterilizing process and the amount of trays needed, saving time and resources in the long-term."


2. Outpatient orthopedic procedures. Minimally invasive surgical techniques are proving their worth. Technology advancements along with new pain management techniques allow surgeons to take traditionally open procedures into the outpatient setting. "As procedures become more minimally invasive, we're seeing a building trend to do more spine cases in surgery centers," says Mr. Sponsel. The outpatient ASC has a different cost structure and separate needs from hospitals and many device companies are taking a new approach to capture the ASC market.


3. Healthcare facilities will become more efficient. Device and implant costs are decreasing, and will continue to depress until the prices bottom out. At that point, hospitals and surgical facilities will take steps toward building a more efficient process to decrease overall costs.


"As procedures continue to become more minimally invasive, there will also continue to be a trend of performing surgeries in surgery centers, where the stay is maxed out at 23 hours, thus increasing the efficiency even further," says Mr. Sponsel.


4. Personalized medicine. There are huge opportunities for personalized medicine in spine surgery and technology. Patients desire customized surgical options, tools and implants for a pre-planned procedure based on their unique anatomy.


"We have a strong focus on patient matched technology at Medacta, both in spine with MySpine and knee with MyKnee," says Mr. Sponsel. "Patient matched technology takes into account accurate positioning of the implant, thus potentially increasing its survival rate while patient matched guides reduce the volume of instrumentation, helping hospitals reduce the time and cost associated with washing, assembling and sterilization procedures."


5. New technology will trend toward meaningful change. Premium pricing for slightly tweaked implants is no longer viable for many device companies as hospitals aren't willing to pay for minor updates. Instead, they're looking for technologies that will drastically improve the quality or efficiency of a procedure.


"If we introduce a new technology to the marketplace, it can't simply be a new widget that increases the cost of the procedure; the device must improve the patient's wellbeing and not have adaptability to reduce the hospital's overall cost through efficiency and/or the hospital's need for costly capital equipment," says Mr. Sponsel.


More articles on spine surgery:
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Majority of patients believe spine surgeons are fairly compensated, study finds: 5 things to know
The theory behind Geisinger's spine surgery refund

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