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SmartTRAK Life Sciences News and Analysis Blog

4 min read

Q120 Total Joints Market Recap: COVID-19 Hits the Brakes on Growth

By Lisa Mahan on 6/4/20 12:26 PM

COVID-19 pandemic hit the brakes mid-March resulting in a quick growth slow-down

Q120 was looking like a strong first quarter following Q420’s 4.5% YoY growth, the highest rate seen in the US Total Joints Market for several years. But, the COVID-19 pandemic and the institution of stay-at-home orders in most US states put the brakes on elective procedures in March, resulting in -4.8%, according to SmartTRAK Financial Dashboard. The postponement of procedures and the resulting downturn in revenue late in Q120 also resulted in orthopedic companies withdrawing guidance due to uncertainty about the timing of recovery.

Among the many topics covered in the comprehensive Q120 US Total Joints Market Recap* are:

Topics: Orthopedics
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4 min read

This Week in Ortho: Projecting the Market's COVID-19 Recovery

By Thomas Wallick on 6/1/20 6:53 PM

As access to healthcare continues to open up, the orthopedic industry is taking significant precautions to insure the health, safety and piece of mind of patients and caregivers and balance that with its attempt to ramp up services and procedures. The following is a small sampling of the orthopedic updates compiled, reviewed and posted in real-time by our SmartTRAK analysts, who are constantly monitoring the situation and sifting through the noise to present the most relevant news to our subscribers:

Updated Survey Data Points to Recovery by Q420

WFS’ new survey of 623 US-based physicians (15 specialties) shows that in orthopedic, the % of procedures expected to be postponed due to COVID-19 for both TKR and THR declined from 94% (Wave 1) to 85% (Wave 2). WFS MedTec: Updated Survey Data Points to Recovery by Q420

Impact of COVID-19 on the Spine Market

Of deferred spinal fusion procedures, surveyed surgeons now expect 74% of cases to be performed at a later date w/ 26% cancelling. Reasons for cancellation include pt seeking treatment w/ a different surgeon (26%) and underlying condition improving (23%). WFS MedTech Survey

Robotic Procedures Affected by COVID-19

Based on its survey of 623 US-based physicians across 15 specialties between April 27 and May 8, WFS notes that in general the % of robotic & laparoscopic procedures across all specialties declined compared to pre-COVID 19 levels, while the % of open procedures increased.

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12 min read

Unique Biomaterials Opportunity: An Interview with Michael Ziebell of trū Shrimp

By Susan Paquette on 5/27/20 12:44 PM

.SmartTRAK discusses a new biomaterials opportunity for medical devices with Michael Ziebell, President and CEO of trū Shrimp.

Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the US with an annual consumption of 1.6 billion pounds and 90% sourced outside the US. trū Shimp has developed a unique aquaculture for raising shrimp that allows production to occur anywhere in the US, even in Minnesota. Michael Ziebell explains the unique features of the process and its ability to produce a novel biomaterial that may be tailored to meet the needs of the medical device industry.

A transcript of SmartTRAK’s interview with Michael Ziebell is below. To listen to the audio interview, click on the video (10:39 minutes). The full transcript, with a link to download a PDF, is provided below.

Topics: Wound Care
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7 min read

COVID-19: Vaccines, Testing and the Future for MedTech

By Thomas Wallick on 5/26/20 8:00 AM

With social distancing and travel restrictions easing worldwide, and WHO warning of a possible second peak of the pandemic, the work continues on potential vaccines to prevent COVID-19 and treatments for those already affected by the virus. The following is a small sampling of the COVID-19 updates compiled, reviewed and posted in real-time by our SmartTRAK analysts, who are constantly monitoring the situation and sifting through the noise to present the most relevant news to our subscribers:

Remdesivir Shortens Recovery Times in COVID-19 

Preliminary results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of IV remdesivier in adults hospitalized w/ COVID-19 and lower respiratory tract infection showed remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening recovery times (11 days vs 15 days; p=0.001). NEJM

Orthopedic Surgery During COVID-19

This JBJS article discusses medically necessary orthopaedic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic and recommends safe surgical practices and a classification to guide tx. JBJS

US Plans Massive COVID-19 Testing Effort to Deliver Vaccine by YE20

The US plans a massive testing effort involving more than 100K volunteers and ~6 of the most promising vaccine candidates in an effort to deliver a safe and effective one by YE20, compressing what is typically 10 yrs of vaccine development/testing into a matter of months. Reuters

COVID-19: Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial

Moderna reports preliminary data suggests its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to be eliciting an immune response in test subjects. The FDA has given the Company approval to begin a Phase II study w/ ~600 volunteers. A Phase III study may begin by July. NPR

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5 min read

Biomedical Solutions: An Interview with DSM Biomedical's John Witkowski

By Kim French on 5/20/20 10:00 AM

SmartTRAK discusses the latest advancements in biomedical solutions with DSM President John Witkowski

DSM, a global leader in biomedical solutions for more than 30 years, helps improve the health of 3.5 million patients annually. While biomaterials have been around for decades, DSM Biomedical is advancing biomaterial science, providing the latest synthetic biomaterials and stem cell-based technologies that are used in various applications, including spine, general orthopedics, sports medicine, general surgery and wound.

To learn more about the latest advancements in DSM Biomedical biomaterials and technologies and what’s next for the business, click on the following video to listen to SmartTRAK’s interview with John Witkowski, President of DSM Biomedical. A transcript of the interview can also be downloaded below. 

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1 min read

SmartTRAK Introduces Computer Assisted Surgery Financial Dashboard

By Lindsey Wolejko on 5/18/20 4:15 PM

We are excited to announce the launch of Computer Assisted Surgery's Financial Dashboard. SmartTRAK's financial analysis is highly regarded and frequently cited by many in the industry for its accuracy and comprehensiveness. As the Computer Assisted Surgery industry continues to evolve, it's more important than ever for industry players to stay on top of the market financials.  

Financial Dashboard makes it easy to:
  • Size a market
  • Gauge market share
  • Compare year-over-year growth
  • Spot financial trends

Topics: Orthopedics
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7 min read

COVID-19: Restrictions Ease as Vaccine Development Ramps Up

By Thomas Wallick on 5/18/20 3:29 PM

As restrictions begin to ease around the world, the Life Sciences industry prepares to deal with the impending ramifications. While progress is being made on vaccines and treatments as new surgery guidelines are developed, the potential long term consequences of the pandemic must be addressed. The following is a small sampling of the COVID-19 updates compiled, reviewed and posted in real-time by our SmartTRAK analysts, who are constantly monitoring the situation and sifting through the noise to present the most relevant news to our subscribers:

COVID-19: WFS Call on Reopening America

During a Wells Fargo call, Dr. Ashish Jah, Dir of Harvard Global Health Institute, projected the US economy will ramp up to 80% open by fall w/ an increase of elective procedures in the summer to 100% or higher. He doesn’t anticipate a fall return of COVID halting procedures.

Impact of COVID-19 on Spine Procedures

Based on conversations with healthcare and industry professionals, SmartTRAK expects deferred spine procedures to reschedule more quickly than many other procedures due to the non-elective nature of spine cases – particularly those w/ neurological deficit or progressive pain.

Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine in Human Trials

Pfizer working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech injected its potential COVID-19 vaccine in first human participants last week and hopes to test up to 360 people in its clinical trial. If the vaccine is found safe and efficacious it could be available starting in Oct. CNBC.com

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7 min read

Trends in Spinal Navigation: An Interview with TrackX CEO Dr. Rob Isaacs

By Julianne Burns on 5/14/20 11:36 AM

Companies like startup TrackX Technology are taking navigation technology to the next level to provide real-time instrument tracking while minimizing radiation exposure during minimally invasive spine procedures.

Enabling technologies, including robotics and navigation systems in spine surgery, are here to stay and were on display at the Spine Summit 2020 meeting held in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 5-8. While navigation has been around for decades, companies like startup TrackX Technology are taking the technology to the next level to provide real-time instrument tracking while minimizing radiation exposure during minimally invasive spine procedures.

Topics: Spine
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3 min read

Weathering the COVID-19 Storm in Orthobiologics: An Interview with Steven Sampson, DO

By Freddy Buntoum on 5/11/20 9:00 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant effect on physician practices in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, including the number of elective procedures being postponed, when normal operations might resume, the adoption of telemedicine, delivery of physician education and interactions with industry. To find out more, SmartTRAK Analyst Freddy Buntoum interviewed Steven Sampson, DO, founder of The Orthobiologic Institute (TOBI) and an internationally-recognized expert in the field of non-surgical orthopedics and the science of sports medicine. To hear Dr. Sampson’s take on how things might evolve throughout the rest of 2020, and how his practice and organization are supporting patients and other stakeholders, click on the following video to listen to the interview recorded via Uberconference (25:20 minutes). A transcript of the interview can be downloaded below.

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6 min read

COVID-19 Updates: MedTech Fights Back

By Thomas Wallick on 5/11/20 8:57 PM

While some countries are slowly emerging from their lockdowns, the MedTech industry continues to face unprecedented challenges as it adapts to the changing landscape. SmartTRAK's analysts are constantly monitoring the effect COVID-19 is having on the Life Sciences industry, sifting through the noise to present the most relevant news to its subscribers. Our analysts continue to publish real-time updates throughout the day, detailing what you need to know about the impact the international 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 the analysts at SmartTRAK:

COVID-19: Advamed Issues New Code of Ethics Guidance

Advamed announced the availability of its new “Code of Ethics Compliance Guidance Related to the COVID-19 Response” to help its members and other MedTech companies develop and implement processes supporting rapid decision making and mitigate any related compliance risks.

MedTech Europe 

MedTech Europe, the European trade association representing the medical technology industries, issued a statement around COVID-19 calling attention to the supply situation of medical devices. They also highlighted that some contracts need to be revised and analyzed.

COVID-19: FDA Removes Respirators Manufactured in China

In a letter to healthcare providers, the FDA announced it removed a number of EAU disposable filtering facepiece respirators manufactured in China. The products pulled failed to demonstrate a minimum particulate filtration efficiency of 95% in testing conducted at NIOSH. fda.gov

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