16 October 2018
CM Industrial By CM Medical

Is an Unhealthy Population Good News for the Wound Care Market?

Without wounds, there is no wound care.

Still with me?

Great!

Science over.

On that logic, more wounds = more demand for wound care. So, in theory, the more we suffer, the better it is for the wound care manufacturers selling their products to hospitals, right?

To take it further, a major cause of wounds that need caring for is Type 2 diabetes. It’s a condition linked to being overweight, having generally poor health and an inactive lifestyle. The cost of amputations, in the UK, linked to diabetes is estimated to be around £44m. That’s a big public health problem, but it also means a lot of surgical wounds to care for. Great for wound care providers!

So, should Smith & Nephew start investing in Cadbury’s and protesting against gyms? After all, as proved by UK politician Tom Watson who lost seven stone in a year, Type 2 diabetes is reversible, and they wouldn’t want that.

The answer? Probably not.

The global wound care market is booming (it’s predicated to reach $11,564m in 2025 up from $8.181m in 2017) but that’s because we’re healthier and living longer than ever before. According to the UN, approximately 13% of the global population was aged 60 or over in 2017.

So wound care providers aren’t likely to be seen barricading your local sports centre anytime soon. Instead, they’re innovating and making the most of the latest tech to try and identify and treat wounds before surgery becomes a necessity.

Prevention is the Future

Back to diabetes, one of the main causes of minor amputations (below the ankle) is due to the mismanagement and infection of, diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Once the infection has set in it’s often too late to act, which is why the technology being produced by advanced wound care providers is so impressive. It’s allowing physicians to take proactive, preventative measures as opposed to having to react to a severe infection that’s presented to them.

For DFUs, Orpyx have developed a pressure sensor for insoles, which allows wearers to modify their walking behaviour, minimising the damage to feet. Other companies making similar solutions are Siren, who have produced smart socks and Bonbouton, with their insoles tracking temperature changes between the wearer’s feet which can be indicative of a reduced or altered blood flow.

The widespread adoption of preventative technologies like the above could save health services billions of dollars thanks to less time spent in the OR.

Technology in traditional wound care is advancing at a rapid rate too – as traditional big names like Smith & Nephew continue to develop their advanced wound care offering. Other innovations include the use of hyaluronic acid from Anika Theraputics which works with the body’s natural healing mechanisms to aid recovery. Another similar product is Avita Medical’s RECELL system. That uses a patient’s own skin cells to regenerate the outer layer of naturally healthy skin around the wound.

That’s just scratching the surface (excuse the pun) of wound care advancements. There’s a huge range of emerging companies doing fascinating things across all areas of the space.

So, the good news is that wound care companies aren’t reveling in our unhealthy lifestyles. Instead, they’re embracing the latest technological innovations to change a traditionally reactive part of the medical space to a more proactive and preventative solution. The future looks bright too, as these new innovations will enable wound care to take a more and more active role in both infection prevention and recovery.

 

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