10/22/14 One area in the medical arena is attracting unprecedented interest at the moment. Not only is this because of the dramatic predicted revenue growth rates in the particular sector, but — from a less commercially-minded point of view — because of the huge positive impact it could have on patient treatment and standard of life.
The area in question is neuromodulation, which as a sector has been around for a while, with various treatments centered around the electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, brain, and peripheral nerves to help alleviate pain going back 40 or 50 years. Now, though, the focus is on applying the treatment to a wider range of ailments.
Huge advances in micro manufacturing and miniaturization are driving neuromodulation, which obviously relies on the ability to make tiny, often complex, but always perfectly functioning medical devices and components, very often delivering electrical impulses.
The global neuromodulation devices sector is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2017. This makes it the fastest growing part of the broader medical devices sector, its growth being driven by greater and greater demand for less invasive and minimally invasive alternatives to the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy, obesity, urinary incontinence, and stroke and brain injury among other conditions.
An aging population together with the rise in age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury is also fuelling the market year after year.
Neuromodulation includes treatments that involve the stimulation of various nerves in the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, or deep cell nuclei of the brain that lead to the “modulation” of its activity. By definition, neuromodulation is a therapeutic alteration of activity either through stimulation or medication, both of which are introduced by implantable devices.
As a therapeutic route, its key advantage is that it is a reversible treatment option, in other words it can be turned off, and once turned off its therapeutic effect is halted.
Many of the leading OEMs in the field work alongside and partner with leading micro manufacturing experts such as Micro Engineering Solutions (MES) which combine an in-depth understanding of the technologies and techniques in the micro engineering field with an innate understanding of the unique regulatory and manufacturing issues that pertain to the medical device sector.
In a future blog we will discuss the three broad segments of market for neuromodulation. Stay tuned for more info…