The Smart Magazine About Medical Technology Innovations
A Brand New Cyber-Body
Exoskeletons enabling patients with no feeling in their legs to walk the aisles. A connected hand prosthesis providing a new left hand to a patient who never had one. Wheelchairs turned into Segways, and more.
What is still known as rehabilitation may soon be called by a different name. It’s becoming a brand new medical field where fascinating new cyber-equipment could change patients’ lives completely. What’s more, you’ll be able to hear from these very patients in this 13th issue of MedicalExpo e-magazine. The focus is on Rehacare, one of the most interesting of all trade shows, where demos are not performed by salespeople, but by real patients using the equipment.
Exoskeletons are on the way. Our video report will show you how today’s paralyzed patients are able to walk the aisles of a trade show.
The technological achievement of putting on their feet people who can’t feel them, is reaching maturity, with companies like Ekso Bionics and ReWalk articulating clear...
Hand prostheses have made an impressive technological leap in recent years. Among the companies behind this revolution, Touch Bionics stands out as one of the pioneers.
We wanted to meet them at Rehacare to learn how their i-limbs connected prosthetic hands work. Instead, the meeting turned into a discussion with two users of these hands who demonstrated everything they could do with them.
Based in metropolitan New York, the NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the United States most highly rated and biggest hospitals. Providing care for more than two million patients with a staff of nearly 29,000 healthcare professionals is a challenge that can be more readily met by embracing new technologies.
Oren Tamari, CEO and creator of UPnRIDE Robotics, explained to MedicalExpo what makes the convertible stand-up wheelchair special.
MedicalExpo: The market offers many standing wheelchair solutions. How does the UPnRIDE differ?
Oren Tamari: The existing products on the market are usually only for indoor use, and limited to even, level surfaces. There are also static solutions to help wheelchair users to stand up for a while. The UPnRIDE, however, is a functional solution that allows being mobile while standing.
MedicalExpo: How does it work?
Oren Tamari: The UPnRIDE provides extra stability because the center of gravity of the user does not move when he or she changes from sitting to standing. The person’s mass is never outside the wheelchair. Furthermore, the user sits on an active, stabilized platform like in a Segway. Therewith, one always remains vertical to earth, and can pass tripping hazards easily.
MedicalExpo: Can everybody use it or does it require training?
Oren Tamari: Everyone who uses a wheelchair can use the UPnRIDE. But, of course, patients who haven’t been standing for years and years should start slowly with maybe short periods each day.
MedicalExpo: Will there be further modifications to the UPnRIDE?
Oren Tamari: At the moment we have six models that are in use for demonstration, testing and trials in hospitals. We will start in March a clinical trial to verify the safety ot the device and to get users feedback, this trial will include outdoors use. Closer to the end of 2016, we will start trials at home.
In the long run, features like an inbuilt navigation device should be included. It could become a real smart wheelchair.
[UPnRIDE is the brainchild of Amit Goffer, who also founded ReWalk Robotics, a company we interviewed in this article about exoskeletons.]
Fully motorized wheelchairs have been available for quite some time now. However, they’ve been criticized for discouraging upper body use. As a consequence, add-ons for standard wheelchairs were all the rage at Rehacare, making it occasionally dangerous to walk the aisles due to fast-moving equipment, whether human- or motor-powered.
We interviewed Mark Richter, CEO of MaxMobility, whose light, connected motorized add-ons were among the best examples in this category.
The orthopedic device market constitutes about 11% of the global medical device market and is estimated at $38.634 billion in 2014, according to an IQ4I Research & Consultancy analysis. Factors such as the rising prevalence osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, an aging population, the demand for minimally invasive surgery, increasing incidence of sports injuries and accidents and the development of robotics will drive growth in the global orthopedic device market.
The high cost of implants, increasing pricing pressure from buyers and payers, the medical device excise tax and product recalls due to manufacturing errors are some of the factors hampering market growth. Issues such as lack of availability of skilled surgeons and changes in reimbursement scenarios will significantly impact market expansion.
Cost Effective Innovations
In the orthopedic device market, new innovations are driving technological advancements that are result-oriented, yet cost effective. Innovations such as arthroscopy (a minimally invasive surgical procedure), computer-navigated and robot-assisted surgical procedures, 3D printing technology, nanotechnology and smart implants will have significant impacts on market growth.
In anatomical terms, knee-related procedures are estimated to be the largest segment, with significant Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). In the consumables market, anchors are expected to show the highest growth rate during the forecast period.
External Fixation Segment Growing Fast
The trauma fixation device market is segmented into internal and external sectors. The internal segment accounted for the greatest revenue in 2014 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2%. These devices include metal plates, pins, rods, wires and screws. However, the external fixation segment is projected to emerge more quickly, growing at a strong CAGR. Such devices include Schanz pins, connecting rods and clamps.
The orthopedic device applications market is segmented into total knee replacement, total hip replacement, total shoulder replacement, arthroscopic surgery, spine surgery, ankle replacement and other surgeries. The total knee replacement segment accounted for the highest revenue in 2014 and is expected to show the strongest CAGR during the forecast period, followed by total hip replacement and spine surgery.
Asia-Pacific the Fastest Growing
North America held the largest share of the global market in 2014. Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region with the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
The key players in this market include Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Aesculap, DePuy Synthes, DJO Global, Stryker Corporation, Medtronic, Smith & Nephe, Globus Medical, NuVasive, Integra LifeSciences Corporation, AAP Implantate, Exactech, Orthofix Holdings and Wright Medical Technology.
New technology-driven companies such as Arthrocare, Orthropro, VertiFlex, Omnilife Sciences, Orthosensor, MedShape, ArCAM AB, ConfirMIS, Schwartz Biomedical, Soft Tissue Regeneration, Surgacoll Technologies, Theken Disc, Nanovis Spine, LLC and RTI Surgical have created niche markets in their areas of expertise and are accelerating innovations along with established players.