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Trauma Market Trends Focus on New Solutions, Shifts in Care Delivery

Trends in the trauma market, the third largest segment in the orthopaedic industry, center on new technologies and treatment methods such as minimally invasive techniques and the use of orthobiologics. Advancements in product offerings aside, shifts in the healthcare delivery system, characterized by changes in decision-making power at healthcare facilities and the growing popularity of outpatient care, also impact this segment. 
 
To take a closer look at these trends, ORTHOWORLD asked several device manufacturers: What trends do you see in the trauma market?
 
Manny Avila, President & CEO, IlluminOss: What I hear from surgeons and what we’re trying to fulfill is the need to be more minimally invasive with procedures for patients, and find a way to minimize the additional time that patients are spending in the hospital after surgery. They [surgeons] talk about wanting new materials and innovation to support that. They’re always looking at decreasing the cost of technology and improving patient outcomes. 
 
Eric J. Dickson, Global Director of Business Development, Extremities, Tyber Medical: We continue to see advancement in anatomical implants (3D manufacturing) that can really -- in high-energy trauma – put the patient back to their exact anatomical figure for alignment. I see several companies coming out with more radiolucent and expanding implants, and distal targeting systems for nails – everybody’s trying to perfect that, to advance in the ease of use and care for the patient and the surgeon. I don’t believe I’ve seen robotics as of yet, but I think that will be coming in the future, like nailing systems. 
 
EJ Duffy, Founder & CEO, Impact Medical: One of the biggest trends right now is that insurance companies are moving to bundled reimbursements. This changing marketplace is helping to assist doctors/hospitals and surgery centers to hold their vendors and suppliers more economically accountable, ultimately benefiting the patients and their co-pays. This supersedes all the other reimbursement trends that we are seeing at this time. 
 
Another large trend that we are witnessing is the number of surgeries performed at ASCs. Doctors are moving away from hospitals because of the reduction in annual patient reimbursement. Doctors have to perform more surgeries at an ASC to keep existing profit margins. Ten years ago, you would never have heard of having a total joint replacement or spinal procedure at a surgery center.
 
Amir Matityahu, M.D., Founder & CEO, Epix Orthopaedic: The trends we’re seeing in hardware are implants that are giving doctors more options to do their jobs better. Some people are playing with material changes, like carbon fiber versus titanium, and different kinds of configurations of screws. 
 
One of the biggest issues is that, some of the big companies are not innovating. They’re just making incremental changes and the risk is upon the smaller companies and start-ups to create innovative changes. If it pans out, the bigger companies are either investing in or buying them. 
 
The major unmet needs are actually helping the doctor do his job, in straightening the fracture before insertion of implants. What companies do is they give you an implant and some reduction tools, but they’re not addressing the hardest part of the surgery, which is, How do I straighten out the bone so I can put the implant on an anatomically straightened bone? Companies are not focused on that because that doesn’t sell. They’re selling an implant, which helps the bottom line. If they make the reduction tool to straighten out the bone, that’s part of the instrument set, and it costs money.
 
Read the full article at ORTHOPRENEURpub.com.

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