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The rapid expansion of diabetes testing and drug delivery markets is shining a spotlight on next-generation electronic devices such as implantable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and implantable infusion pumps. Medical device manufacturers’ keenness to harness the intensifying demand for miniaturized electronic devices has further prompted the introduction of cardiovascular implants that are compatible with imaging systems such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These miniaturized implantable electronics will be digitally connected in the future to promote futuristic healthcare applications such as smarter drug delivery and painless diabetes testing. The fastest growing segment is, however, implantable neurostimulators due to their ability to treat multiple neurological disorders such as epilepsy, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia.
Innovations in Implantable Electronics is part of Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision (Microelectronics) Growth Partnership Service program. The devices covered in this research include cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), cochlear implants, implantable neurostimulators, implantable CGM devices, implantable infusion pumps and retinal implants. The study also details the importance of insurance coverage in the higher uptake of active implantable electronics.
“The constant stream of innovations has attracted substantial private funding to the implantable electronics market, while public funding is expected to improve in the future,” noted Frost & Sullivan TechVision Industry Analyst Bhargav Rajan. “As the majority of the population seeking implants is from low- and middle-income groups, the success of implantable electronics is largely dependent on the reimbursement environment.”
Apart from North America and certain countries in Europe, the unfavorable reimbursement scenario has dented the prospects of implantable medical devices. Nevertheless, the radical upgrades in healthcare infrastructure in many developing nations, especially India, China, Brazil, Russia, Malaysia and Vietnam, have stoked huge demand for implantable electronics and a consequent need to expand their insurance coverage.
“Although the reimbursement for cochlear implants and CIEDs is strong, other devices, especially retinal implants and neurostimulators, are not covered completely by the insurers,” noted Rajan. “Besides, the cost of development of implantable devices is extremely high due to the complex nature of the systems, and this cost trickles down to the patients.”
To make optimum use of the market’s potential, technology developers need to work on lowering their development costs through collaborations with early stage start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises. This will allow them to gain cross-industry expertise and cutting-edge innovations, which will, in due course, help lower the price points.
Frost & Sullivan's global TechVision practice is focused on innovation, disruption and convergence, and provides a variety of technology-based alerts, newsletters and research services as well as growth consulting services. Its premier offering, the TechVision program, identifies and evaluates the most valuable emerging and disruptive technologies enabling products with near-term potential. A unique feature of the TechVision program is an annual selection of 50 technologies that can generate convergence scenarios, possibly disrupt the innovation landscape, and drive transformational growth.
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