The Market for Neurotechnology:
A Market Research Report from Neurotech Reports
The field of neurotechnology, which we define as the application of electronics and engineering to the human nervous system, is one of the most dynamic and promising areas of technology to emerge in the 21st Century. Neurotechnology uses electrical stimulation and sensing as tools for understanding and controlling nervous system function, as opposed to biotechnology, which focuses on molecular and genetic engineering approaches.
The most noteworthy applications of neurotechnology to date have been neural prostheses such as cochlear implants, and neuromodulation systems, such as implanted stimulators for treatment of chronic pain.
Neurotech Reports projects that the overall worldwide market for neurotechnology products will be $8.4 billion in 2018 and will reach $13.3 billion in 2022. Neurotech Reports divides the market for neurotechnology into four segments: neuroprosthetics, neuromodulation, neurorehabilitation, and neurosensing.
The largest segment of the market for neurotechnology is currently neuromodulation, followed by neuroprosthetics and neurosensing.
Within the neuroprosthetics product category, cochlear implants represent the largest and most mature product category. Two factors that are helping to drive the market for cochlear implants are the rapid growth of implants in children, and the expansion of the market beyond profoundly deaf individuals to severely hearing impaired individuals. Many of the candidates for cochlear implants in this latter category are seniors with hearing loss that can no longer be improved with hearing aids.
Neurotechnology has grown and matured as an industry as a result of advances in several fields of science and technology, including neuroscience, electrical stimulation, biomaterials, and microelectronics. MEMS technology will have a positive impact on the development of neurotechnology devices.
Neurotechnology is currently in use or under study for the treatment of a number of different medical disorders and diseases. These include spinal cord injury, deafness, blindness, stroke, urinary incontinence, epilepsy, chronic pain, neurological disorders, and psychiatric disorders.
Neurotechnology products and services will experience considerable growth in the worldwide healthcare market in large part because of the continued growth and identification of neurological disorders and conditions. Many of these disorders and conditions will become more pronounced as demographic shifts in the aging of the population, as well as increased life expectancy and demand for a higher quality of life by senior citizens, exert their effects.
As society has become more aware of the prevalence of specific neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders such as chronic pain, depression, dyslexia, and autism, business and government leaders have become more aware of the costs of these conditions to society in terms of lost productivity, treatment, and diminished quality of life. These factors will all contribute to the growth of neurotechnological treatments and therapies for neurological disorders.
Also, successful neuroprosthetics have been shown to be cost-effective because of the reduction in ongoing costs for healthcare and assistive services. Some studies have shown that these devices pay for themselves with five to seven years.
The neurotechnology industry depends heavily on the readiness of private and public health insurance organizations to reimburse patients for the cost of the devices and the procedures associated with implanting, maintaining, and training the device.
The growth of neurotechnology devices also depends heavily on the degree to which clinicians and their patients are aware of their capabilities. Because it is new, neurotechnology has not yet achieved the degree of penetration in awareness of both physicians and patients who would be strong candidates.
One of the greatest opportunities for growth in the market for neuromodulation device is treatment of obesity. Other new and emerging applications for neurotechnology devices are migrain pain, depression, and cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension and angina pain.
Neurotech Reports believes that the increasing understanding of central neural mechanisms in disorders such as depression, Parkinson's disease, and stroke will lead to dramatic growth for new neurotechnology products.
The market for neurotechnology includes both established competitors and start-up firms. Among the main competitors in the neurotechnology industry are:
Neuroprosthetics: Cochlear Ltd., Advanced Bionics, Bioness, Second Sight, Otto Bock, and Med-El
Neuromodulation: Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Abbott, Nuvectra, LivaNova, and Nevro
Neurosensing: Natus Medical, Nihon-Kohden, and Philips
Carbon nanotubes and other advances in nanotechnology will confer new capabilities on neuromodulation products. New polymeric biomaterials are promising to enhance the functionality of existing neural interfaces, which are largely based on metals.
Neural/silicon hybrid chips have the potential for dramatically expanding the rate and the quality of information exchange between a computer and human. These devices initially will have application as improved forms of electrodes built with intelligent microelectronic hardware rather than passive devices. Ultimately they offer the potential for greatly enhanced neural prostheses and brain-computer interfaces.