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The Rising Demand in the Orthopedic Implant Market

Date: 02 May 2018

The orthopedic devices industry is growing fast. By 2020, the sector is expected to rank third in sales, after cardiology and in-vitro diagnostics.[1] It’s an industry that offers rewarding careers, too, with strong demand for individuals who can use cutting-edge technology to improve patients’ lives.

Why is the orthopedic implants sector growing?

Medical innovation and an aging demographic are two key factors behind the growth in the orthopedic implant sector. A rising elderly population is resulting in stronger demand for procedures such as hip and knee replacements.

Obesity and a lack of exercise are also key lifestyle factors contributing to a higher rate of conditions such as osteoarthritis and degenerative bone disease.

Demand is also strong for trauma-related devices such as spinal implants for those involved in road collisions and sporting accidents. Around 1.35m children attend a hospital emergency department each year in the United States due to a sport-related injury.[2]

Technologies developing to meet increased demand

In response to this demand, new technologies are being developed. Important areas of innovation include:

3D printing

Customized devices made using 3D printing technology have the potential to reduce surgery duration and cost, as well as improving device stability in the longer term. 3D printing can be used for anatomical models and surgical tools as well as implants with size-controlled micro-pore structures to improve integration between bone and metal.

Smart sensor-enabled technology

Devices with embedded sensors provide surgeons with real-time data, helping to improve positioning and post-operative evaluation. The technology may help to address the growing problem of periprosthetic infection.

Use of robotics during surgery

Robotic devices enable procedures to be carried out with smaller incisions and greater reproducible precision. The high cost of the technology is one of the reasons why it has yet to be adopted widely, though this could change in future.

Diagnostic and surgical imaging

3D imaging helps surgeons to improve implant positioning and develop a better understanding of the musculoskeletal system. Improved surgical navigation and imaging systems enhance the tracking of instruments during a procedure.

Annual growth rate expected to be over 7%

Research from The Business Research Co indicates that the orthopedic replacement implant market will reach $2.2bn by 2021, up from $1.5bn last year. The sector is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of over 7%.[3]

The US dominates the industry, with over 50% of market share in minor orthopedic replacement implants.[4] Manufacturers are promoting the use of longer-lasting materials such as titanium, cobalt, chromium, molybdenum and polyethylene instead of the plastic and ceramic used in earlier devices.

Top skills in demand

As R&D investment increases, EPM is experiencing greater demand for R&D engineers, as well as mechanical and electrical engineers in the orthopedic implant space.

Today’s candidates are motivated by companies who are pushing the boundaries when it comes to cutting-edge technologies, so investment in this space is likely to attract the top talent over the coming months.

The rapid development of technologies in orthopedic implants means that a wide range of professionals can be sure of roles with great prospects, competitive remuneration and the opportunity to make a real difference to patients’ lives through innovation.

If you’re trying to attract top engineering talent in this market, or you’d like to discuss the current opportunities available, please email Mary Kathryne O’Hagan at marykathryne.ohagan@epmscientific.com to find out more.

 


[1] https://aabme.asme.org/posts/innovations-in-orthopedic-devices-and-procedure-improvement-solutions-to-transform-the-industry

[2] https://businessservices24.com/270416/orthopedic-implants-market-scrutinized-in-new-research-to-2025/

[3] https://www.medicaldesignandoutsourcing.com/minor-orthopedic-implant-market-to-be-worth-2-2-billion-by-2021-analysts-say/

[4] https://www.medicaldesignandoutsourcing.com/minor-orthopedic-implant-market-to-be-worth-2-2-billion-by-2021-analysts-say/