From less invasive procedures to alternatives to fusion surgery meant to preserve motion, spine technology has come a long way over the past few decades. However, recent changes to the FDA approval process and the overall healthcare environment could alter the market place when it comes to spine technology and innovation.
No More Blank Checks when it Comes to Purchasing the Latest Technology
Hospitals and insurance companies may not be so willing to purchase the latest technology regardless of price, instead opting for improvements with proven methods, procedures and equipment.
Shaking Up the Relationship Between Device Companies and Doctors
Due to increased scrutiny, the relationships between device companies and doctors is going to be more carefully observed, meaning that partnerships that would normally make new technology available to patients may not be as attractive for either party.
More R&D Funds Spent on Refining Existing Technology
The R&D budget for device companies is likely to go towards fine-tuning existing technology rather than designing something entirely new since it will take more effort (and money) to get it through the FDA approval process.
Device Companies with a Specialty Niche Will Remain Independent
Device companies with a specialty niche are likely to thrive since these companies are appealing to a very specific market, which also means there’s more room for innovation. One great example is the Mobi-C device, which has been FDA approved for both one and two level indications.
Differentiation of PEEK and Inter-body Spacers
Titanium-coated PEEK inter-body fusion devices (primary used in a load-bearing capacity) will become more diverse with a move towards porous, titanium-coated and HA-impregnated PEEK devices. All titanium inter-bodies are also poised to see a resurgence, according to some industry insiders.
Also On the Horizon…
- Incremental (rather than revolutionary) innovations
- Focus on innovations likely to make procedures easier to perform and safer for patients
- Widespread use of image guidance and robotic technology to increase precision
- Surgeons adopting technologies likely to boost efficiency
- As the population ages, the deformity market will experience continued growth
- Spine clinical trials will increase to determine the viability of stem cell treatments
- Use of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) to stimulate bone growth naturally will stabilize as other biologic derivatives become available
If you are living with back or neck pain and are in search of new or novel treatment options, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Recognized as one of the leading spine surgeons in Los Angeles and throughout the nation, he specializes in cutting-edge surgical techniques, and has been the leading investigator of several clinical trials for devices that went on to attain FDA approval. Call 310-828-7757 and schedule your in-person consultation today.