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SmartTRAK Life Sciences News and Analysis Blog

4 min read

COVID-19: Increasing Impact on the Life Sciences Industry

By Thomas Wallick on 3/30/20 1:11 PM

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the MedTech industry is continuing to see a multitude of changes and disruptions worldwide. SmartTRAK's analysts continue to monitor the effect COVID-19 is having on the Life Sciences industry, sifting through the noise to present the most relevant news to its subscribers and report on the impact the global healthcare crisis is having on the industry at large.

Following is a selection of the COVID-19 updates from the past week as compiled by SmartTRAK:

Surgeon Survey: COVID-19 Impact

  • A survey of 50 orthopedic surgeons reported ~40% are still seeing both new and existing pts, while a third is only seeing pts for emergency or urgent issues. Telemedicine adoption has accelerated w/ 32% of survey takers noting some recent use. Canaccord Genuity Industry Report
  • According to a 50-surgeon survey, postponements of orthopedic procedures have led to a sharp decline in pt volumes, w/ respondents indicating a 58% avg decline in March and an anticipated 77% avg decline in April. Canaccord Genuity Industry Report
  • According to a 50-surgeon survey, 60% indicated that their organizations had already made formal decisions to defer or postpone orthopedic procedures, w/ ~33% indicating that over 90% of their entire practice was deferrable. Canaccord Genuity Industry Report

COVID-19: NV Procedure Impact
  • SmartTRAK physician checks suggest elective procedure volumes for aneurysm cases will pick up in H219, assuming social isolation and other non- pharmaceutical interventions effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 and healthcare demand.
  • SmartTRAK is hearing from neurointerventionalists that COVID-19 is affecting elective procedure volumes for aneurysm cases, but those patients are being rescheduled—not canceled. Mechanical thrombectomy procedures have not been impacted to date.
Topics: Top Story
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4 min read

Q419/FY19 US Surgical Matrices Market Recap: Robust Growth

By Doug Devens on 3/27/20 9:49 AM

The US Surgical Matrices Market showed robust growth in Q419, improving on Q319. Breast matrices rebounded from its Q319 malaise, while hernia matrices grew YoY.

In Q419, the US Surgical Matrices Market grew +8.5% YoY, and was up +4.2% for FY19 according to BioMedGPS’ SmartTRAK Financial Dashboard. Allergan broke out of its  Alloderm supply constraints, and Becton Dickinson (BD) also did quite well.
  • Q419 Breast Matrices market found its groove again, up YoY. For FY19 Breast Matrices grew well, despite several weak quarters.
  • Q419 US Hernia Matrices market increased its growth, with the highest growth rate in biosynthetics and with both xenografts and allografts showing surprising strength. For the year, Hernia Matrices edged up.
  • Allergan beat its supply constraints and maintained its leadership of the Breast Matrices market, as Alloderm returned to the market in force. For the full year, Allergan slid due to those Alloderm supply problems.
  • BD maintained its No. 1 position in the Q419 Hernia Matrices market.

Among the many topics covered in the comprehensive Q419/FY19 US Surgical Matrices Market Recap* are:

Topics: Wound Care
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3 min read

Q419/FY19 Extremities Market Recap: Healthy Competition

By Lisa Mahan on 3/26/20 9:30 AM

Healthy competition ignited by new product intros propels extremities arthroplasty while fixation runs into tough comps along with a lack of new product drivers

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6 min read

A Critical Crossroads for COVID-19: An Interview with Krishnan Chakravarthy

By Anne Staylor on 3/23/20 6:06 PM

Krishnan Chakravarthy, MD, PhD discusses the state of the pandemic and its impact on pain medicine in an interview with SmartTRAK

Krishnan Chakravarthy, MD, PhD discusses the COVID-19 pandemic, current and evolving methods for containing and treating the virus, how it's changing the practice of pain medicine and its impact on industry in an interview with SmartTRAK. Dr. Chakravarthy is Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force for the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience (ASPN), a virologist, pain management specialist and assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). 

To find out more, including lessons learned from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, click on the following video to listen to the interview conducted by Anne Staylor, SmartTRAK's Managing Editor and Director of Advanced Technologies, recorded live via Uberconference (47:29 minutes).  Specific interview topics by time code are also outlined below, as is a link to download the transcript.

Topics: Top Story
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6 min read

SmartTRAK COVID-19 Updates: Early Effects on the MedTech Industry

By Thomas Wallick on 3/19/20 2:00 PM

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop rapidly, the MedTech industry is already seeing many changes and disruptions. SmartTRAK has collected updates and news from the last few days concerning the spread of COVID-19 and how it is affecting the Life Sciences Industry.


  • Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders (AWCS) held an emergency call to discuss hospital wound care clinics being considered non-essential and being asked to close due to COVID-19. Participants included wound clinics, providers and manufactures.
  • Medical Directors from Healogics and Restorix, and other wound clinics requested the AWCS publish a one page fact sheet asap stating the importance of wound clinics staying open for challenging pts, as w/o care, the probability of needing emergency care increases significantly.

ACS Issues Decision-Making Guidance on Elective Procedures
With calls to curtail elective surgery, the ACS published guidance on the mgmt of non-emergent operations and suggests surgeons use SLU’s Elective Surgery Acuity Scale to help decide whether procedures should be postponed, performed at an ASC or not postponed.

Tracking COVID-19 via Smart Phones
The US Government is talking w/ tech companies (Facebook, Google, etc) and health experts re how they can use data gleaned from Americans’ phones to map the spread of COVID-19 to predict the next hotspot or decide where to allocate resources. Seattle Times

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4 min read

Q419/FY19 Spine Market Recap: Strong Growth

By Julianne Burns on 3/19/20 10:00 AM

Improvements in procedure volumes drove strong growth across the spine hardware market.

Improvements in procedure volumes drove positive growth across the spine hardware market, with the WW spine hardware market up for Q419 and FY2019, respectively, according to the SmartTRAK Financial Dashboard. Similarly, Cantor Fitzgerald analysts estimate 2019 global spine market (inclusive of biologics) growth at +2.2%, the highest growth the market has seen in 5 years, with +2.1% US growth and +2.2% growth OUS.

Among the many topics covered in the comprehensive  Q419 Spine Market Recap*  are:
Topics: Orthopedics
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4 min read

Q419/FY19 Total Joints Recap: US Market Strengthens

By Lisa Mahan on 3/19/20 10:00 AM

Product Mix Shift and Improved Pricing Strengthens US Total Joints Market

In the US, revenue in the Total Joints market for Q419 achieved much stronger growth compared to Q418, according to SmartTRAK Financial Dashboard. Both Hip and Knee Replacement market segments saw growth acceleration. Keep in mind that this growth does not include revenue generated by the sale of robotic systems and associated disposables. The Total Joints market is typically seasonal with a dip in sales during Q3 with recovery in Q4. However, Q419’s uptick seemed particularly strong benefiting from mix shift in products, including the increasing popularity of cementless knees and dual mobility hips.

Among the many topics covered in the comprehensive Q419 US Total Joints Market Recap* are:

Topics: Orthopedics
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1 min read

Q419/FY19 US Joint Fluid Market Recap: Stronger Demand for Single Injection

By Freddy Buntoum on 3/16/20 2:14 PM

Overall, 2019 was a good recovery year for the US Joint Fluid market with Single-injection treatment options at the helm

For Q419, revenue in the US Joint Fluid market was up, recovering fairly well from a year ago according to SmartTRAK Financial Dashboard. Aggregate growth for the quarter was attributable to a double-digit revenue growth in single injection. Stronger demand and heavy product push in that segment, especially at year-end, was offset to a certain extent by revenue declines in 3- and 5-injections. 

Among the many topics covered in the comprehensive Q419 US Joint Fluid Market Recap* are:

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5 min read

Medtronic Ups its Game with Percept DBS and BrainSense Technology

By Anne Staylor on 3/13/20 9:30 AM

Mike Daly, VP and GM of Medtronic’s Brain Modulation, discusses the Company’s new Percept DBS System with BrainSense Technology in an interview with SmartTRAK

Although Medtronic has lost share in deep brain stimulation (DBS) over the last several years, the Company upped its game recently with the EU launch of its new Percept PC Neurostimulator with BrainSense technology, which received CE Mark in January 2020. Percept is a primary cell DBS device that can send and record brain signals while delivering therapy to patients for the treatment of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, primary dystonic, epilepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Although Percept is currently available in the EU for open-loop sensing, the device is closed-loop capable, and Medtronic plans to conduct additional research in closed-loop DBS in hopes of eventually gaining regulatory approval for an Adaptive DBS system. 

To find out more about Percept DBS, BrainSense technology and what’s next for Medtronic’s Brain Modulation Business, click on the following video to listen to SmartTRAK’s interview with Mike Daly, Vice President and General Manager of the Brain Modulation Business within Medtronic. A transcript of the interview is also provided below.

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9 min read

Recent Studies Announced in Advanced Wound Care

By Lindsey Wolejko on 3/6/20 1:03 PM

In this week's round-up of recent Medtech studies, SmartTRAK takes a deeper look at the Advanced Wound Care market. Our analysts have picked out some of the latest developments on Smith & Nephew and Avita Medical's products, as well as Pressure Ulcer and NPWT studies.

A 304-pt trial will measure the efficacy of PICO in the prevention of SSI from cardiac surgery under extracorporeal circulation vs Aquacel Surgical. The primary outcome is incidence of infection of the sternal wound. Est study completion is Jul 13, 2021. clinicaltrials.gov

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