Wound Care: Finding a Niche
The relatively open nature of the wound care market has created a golden opportunity for manufacturers to step up and introduce a variety of new products, although rarely is new a signal of true innovation in this space. And that, in turn, has created a broad, diverse, and fragmented industry, as demonstrated by the packed exhibit hall at the April 2010 meeting of the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care and the Wound Healing Society.
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With estimated revenues in excess of $5 billion per year worldwide, the advanced wound care market has garnered the attention of both major companies and investors for its tremendous potential. Growth in this market is being driven by the development of new bioactive products that can successfully heal chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, which are among the most challenging and costly to treat.
Acute wound care will continue to evolve as hospitals face increasing pressure from payors and patient safety advocates to address the issue of surgical wounds and surgical site infections. CMS has added SSIs to the list of preventable, hospital-acquired conditions that it will no longer cover. A number of companies are seizing the opportunity to develop technologies that can help hospitals and patients avoid these costly conditions.
Over the last 15 years, a trend toward evidence-based medicine has led to a greater understanding of the science behind wound healing. This knowledge has fueled an explosion of innovation in technology and in the commercialization of a wide range of new products, generating a worldwide market estimated at $4.5 billion annually, with double-digit growth projected over the next three to five years.