Orthopedic surgical sophistication through single-use disposable instrumentation
Surgical Sophistication (ODTMag)
Surgical instrumentation continues to be a strong market within the orthopedic industry. Aging baby boomers, who are eager to stay active, are keenly interested in orthopedic products. They have high expectations for joint surgeries; combined with the Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on improved patient outcomes, and cost-saving initiatives by healthcare systems, these impactors drive innovation and sales for orthopedic OEMs and their supply-chain partners.
Growth is also fueled by numerous mergers and acquisitions within the industry. Leaders in the orthopedic space continue to diversify through acquisition so they can capitalize on growth opportunities. With solid business models and proven track records, they can offer a broader line of products, including legacy devices, which generate more sales growth.
For example, Phillips Precision Medicraft, an Elmwood Park, N.J.-based contract manufacturer of advanced orthopedic implants, instruments, and sterilization delivery systems, enjoyed double-digit growth in 2016—in part driven by an increase in legacy products and product transfer activity across its business portfolio. “The growth in legacy products is a result of products surviving the rationalization process after mergers,” said Jack Neenan, vice president of business development for the company. “These products then generally receive increased exposure in the field, with more salespeople marketing the products.”
In general, surgical instrumentation and delivery systems trends support orthopedic industry trends. Hip and knee products are becoming more of a commodity and therefore face greater pricing pressures; extremities and niche products tend to provide more profitable opportunities. Innovation continues to enhance minimally-invasive procedures. The tight tolerances and complex assemblies required for these types of surgical equipment often create unique design and manufacturability challenges for contract manufacturers.
“More complex procedures, value-driven healthcare and miniaturization and robotics-assisted surgery are all driving innovation,” said Alan Connor, CEO for Cadence Inc., a Staunton, Va.-based contract manufacturer for medical device and diagnostics companies.
This innovation also includes an increased interest in single-use instrumentation. Although reusable instruments are high quality and well-suited for the job, they can be difficult to calibrate and clean, which adds time and money to surgery overheads and creates slight but real infection risks. With an emphasis today on cost reduction and improved patient outcomes, as well as the ever-present goal to improve operating room (OR) efficiencies and reduce reprocessing needs, more surgeons are moving toward single-use, disposable instrumentation.
“There is a definite shift toward using disposable sterile-packed instruments and complete procedural kits in the OR,” said James B. Schultz, executive vice president for ECA Medical Instruments Inc., a Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based provider of single-procedure (disposable) torque-limiting instruments, fixed drivers, ratchets, and sterile-packed procedural kits for securing orthopedic and spine implants.
What OEMs Want
Many new product development efforts by orthopedic OEMs target “reducing the total cost of instrumentation or delivery, improving the overall performance of the instrumentation, and/or enabling minimally invasive or computer/robotic-assisted surgery,” said Jodie Gilmore, CEO of Onyx Medical LLC, a Memphis, Tenn.-based manufacturer specializing in bone-cutting, bone-piercing and bone-fixation products and is also a subsidiary of Elos Medtech.