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Minimally invasive medical devices: environmental scan - technology and markets


The report aimed to identify sectors where reductions in the invasiveness of key technology could significantly impact the medical device market. In this context, minimally invasive devices are those which require percutaneous techniques, minor incisions or insertion through a bodily orifice for diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of disease. This environmental scan report aimed to provide an insight into current market dynamics and technology advances within the minimally invasive medical devices market. The report explored: the emerging technologies within the market; the size, growth, drivers, challenges and restraints of the market dynamics; the key market players; and the Intellectual Property (IP) landscape. The report also provided a technology scope of diagnostics, monitors, therapeutics and other devices.


The methodology consisted of: an examination of six application areas and three associated enabling technologies (with case studies); reports on patent activity during 2006-2007; and an analysis of variations in European Union, United States and global market data.


The report discusses a number of technology applications which are innovative and have market potential. Within orthopaedics, motion preservation and bone induction offer significant market opportunities. The report predicts a market shift from current spinal fusion treatments to spinal implants for motion preservation. Bone growth factors have already achieved nearly one billion dollars in EU sales, despite being relatively new to the marketplace. The cosmetics procedures market is viewed as another area of opportunity, given its non-reliance on reimbursement and the potential reduction in time to market. Clinical efficacy is likely to be the leading cosmetics product differentiator in the future. Opportunities now exist to develop drug eluting stents (DES) with improved safety profiles, but the cost of bringing new DES to the market may dampen interest in this area. Neuromodulation is an emerging field which could potentially treat a number of indications such as stroke, pain management and obesity. The industry has started to adopt a more evidence-based approach to neuromodulation to counteract the lack of convincing clinical data supporting safety and efficacy. Implantable sensors offer a number of benefits over conventional sensor technology, although the life-span of products is often limited and there is a lengthy lag-time between academic research and commercialisation. Implantable sensor technology is likely to face competition from other emerging technologies, such as non-invasive sensors and POC tests.


The report identifies six application areas and three associated enabling technologies as having significant innovation and market potential. These include implants such as: implantable sensors; therapeutic implants, stents and neuro-stimulation; and enabling technology, biomaterials and power source. These also include areas surrounding the field of minimally invasive surgery, including: cosmetic procedures; orthopaedics, spinal surgery and orthobiologics; and enabling technology or endoscopy. The report suggests that ITI Technology and Markets Team should progress one of the areas highlighted in this environmental scan, orthobiologics, to a full foresighting analysis, in order to gain further insight into the market opportunities around bone healing.

Author ITI Life Sciences
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Life Sciences