Growth of the Global Implantable Medical Devices Market

Published On : Jul 28, 2014

An implant is a man-made medical device that is manufactured to support a damaged biological structure, enhance an existing biological structure or replace a missing structure in the body. These devices are made of biomedical material such as silicone, titanium or apatite. Some devices are also electronic such as pacemakers and cochlear implants.

Dramatic innovations to improve the quality of life for a patient have led to a highly dynamic implantable medical devices market.

Medical implants and their scope
The implantable medical devices market can be classified into three main categories on the basis of procedures. These are orthopedic implants, cardiovascular implants and other implantable medical devices which include dental, intraocular and breast implants. 

Orthopedic implants: An orthopedic implantable device is used to support a broken or damaged bone, or to replace a missing bone or joint. These devices are made of steel and titanium alloys that lend strength to the joint, and the plastic coating that goes over the device serves as artificial cartilage. Some of the common types of implants in orthopedics are plates, rods, screws and pins. Some examples of specific implants used in orthopedic treatment are Austin-Moore prosthesis used to repair the fracture of the femur neck, Charnley prosthesis for full hip replacement, Harrington rod to fix the spine, Insall Burstein prosthesis for full knee replacement, Swanson prosthesis for finger joint replacement, and Kirschner wire used to fix small bones. 

Scope of orthopedic implantable devices: The rising incidence of osteoarthritis, increase in aging population and mounting awareness among people regarding medicine are some of the main factors that drive the global orthopedic implant industry. Trade analysts state that spinal devices are the fastest growing segment presently, and the scope of such implantable medical devices is sure to broaden with the advent of new and innovative technologies such as smart implants, tissue engineering and customized implants.

Cardiovascular implants:  A cardiovascular implant is a manufactured device that enables proper and assisted functioning of the heart and its components. Cardiac implantable devices include pacemakers, stents, cannulae, and catheters. Some of the common cardiovascular implant surgeries are cardiac resynchronization therapy which places a small metal-based pacemaker for patients with enlarged hearts, implantable cardiac defibrillators are recommended for patients with cardiac arrhythmia or irregular and improper signaling of the heart, and ventricular assist devices (VAD) which are surgically attached to assist the heart with its functioning. 

Growth of cardiovascular implants: The global industry for cardiac implants has demonstrated signs of rapid growth and market forecast anticipates a vigorous expansion of this segment in the coming years. Change in dietary and living habits has led to an increasing occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and this in turn has propelled the cardiac implantable devices industry. Reports have shown that more people die of cardiovascular complications in the world than any other disease and this fact is bound to be a driving factor for the medical implant segment. 

Other implantable medical devices: Some of the other branches of medicine that require implant devices are dentistry, plastic surgery and ophthalmology. A dental implant is a surgical element that combines with the jaw bone or skull in order to anchor a dental or facial prosthesis. Most dental implants are titanium or ceramic based. An intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted in the eye to treat cataract or myopia. The common types of IOL are pseudophakic IOL and phakic IOL. Breast augmentation is another branch of medicine that uses implantable devices to act as prosthesis when the shape, size, form or texture of a breast needs to be altered. Based on the type of filler material used in the implant, there are three types of devices: silicone gel, saline solution and composite filler. 

Global market analysis: With an increasing incidence of periodontal diseases, dental cavities and a larger aging population, the global market for implantable dental devices seems promising. Longer lifespan, change in dietary habits and lifestyle trends, and awareness of ophthalmological treatment has propelled the growth of ophthalmic devices market over the past few years. Breast augmentation and reconstruction with implants is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures in the world and the landscape of breast implant surgeries has changed dramatically over the years thanks to product innovations.

Trade analysts have revealed that the demographic, regulatory and commercial developments across the globe have greatly influenced the implantable medical devices market and the demand for the same is bound to intensify in emerging countries.