O&P market continues upward growth trend

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Monday, November 2, 2020

The financial forecast for the orthotics and prosthetics market continues to be bullish, driven by increasing demand, product innovations and technological advancements. In a new market outlook report from Grand View Research, the global O&P market size is listed at $9.2 billion and is expected to exhibit a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027. 

Researchers cite “increasing incidence of sports injuries and road accidents, rising number of diabetes-related amputations and the growing prevalence of osteosarcoma” as the drivers of market demand. Regionally, North America is the leading market and is expected to mirror global trends. 

“This growth can be attributed to well-established healthcare infrastructure, increasing R&D investments by companies, and favorable reimbursement policies,” the report stated. “The focus of the U.S. healthcare system on quality of care and value-based services has also led to a favorable market environment for prosthetics and orthotics.” 

That global market growth extends to the HME industry, where demand is on the rise for the full complement of O&P products, offering providers more retail opportunities in the category, said Matt Gruskin, credentialing director for the Board of Certification/Accreditation. 

“As the active baby boomer market ages, tremendous opportunity is apparent,” he said. 

Gruskin cites two examples of where demand for O&P products is expected to grow: one is from an estimated 19% of adults over the age of 45 who have osteoarthritis of the knee and the other is from 30% of adults who suffer from lower back pain. 

“Braces can help these people stay active and maintain a high quality of life,” he said. “Being a resource for the entire range of custom-fit orthotic bracing allows you not only to care for your current patients, but also to position your facility as an asset that can help the entire community.” 

Lower back pain therapy has been a focus of Hayward, Calif.-based ITA MED, which is producing the MAXAR Bio-Magnetic Airprene Sports Belt. Business development manager Nick Silny says physician interest in the product has been on the rise and consumer demand has been strong. 

“People want drug-free alternatives for post-surgical and injury pain management and this product appeals to them,” Silny said. “Wearing the belt takes back pain away in 30 to 40 minutes.” 

Tech advancements 

Two of the most notable frontiers where technology is progressing is bio-magnetic therapy and 3D printing. 

Bio-magnetic therapy is a natural treatment that reestablishes a normal cellular level through the use of magnets. This is typically done with a pair of magnets of medium intensity. 

The ultimate goal of bio-magnetism is to equalize the patient’s pH level and prevent or treat illness. This method should never be confused with magnetic therapy or acupuncture, Silny said, because those are “vastly different and more advanced ways to take control of the body.” 

3D printing is one of the fastest growing businesses in the medical field, with companies exploring new applications for the technology. A major advantage of 3D printing is the ability to create complex designs quickly and for lower prices. It does have limitations, however. 

East Point Prosthetics and Orthotics in Kinston, N.C., offers this outlook: “With prosthetists and orthotists requiring custom plastic molds every day, this could revolutionize the business. By scanning residual limbs and using a 3D printer to create a socket, prosthetists would be able to offer patients potentially better-fitting devices the same day of the scan, without going through a middleman. While it has its advantages, there are reasons that technology has not already put prosthetics/orthotics manufacturers out of business.” 

Post-mastectomy tech 

New technology is also appearing in the post-mastectomy product field as well. Shan Willoughby, marketing manager for Kennesaw, Ga.-based Amoena, says the company recently launched its Adapt Air breast form with air chamber technology. 

“This is patented technology that allows a woman to add or decrease air inside the form to control the volume or projection of the form,” she said. “This helps if she has fluctuating weight due to treatments, edema, or for any reason and allows her to have various bra styles in her lingerie drawer where volume can be adjusted to fill out her bra cup as needed.” 

Amoena also offers a full line of post-mastectomy products that HME providers can use as cross-sales items, such as Recovery Care compression, new scar management treatments, breast forms and partial shapers and lingerie with discreet pockets to hold breast forms securely. 

“HME providers should remember they are not selling a product, but a solution,” Willoughby said. “Cross-selling includes any product for a breast cancer patient on her journey from diagnosis to living beyond the experience.”