The Bad with the Good

Since Neurotech Reports was founded in 2001, the editors of this publication have published a market research report on the neurotechnology industry. Although the report has been revised several times since it was first published in 2001, the latest revision, available in May 2009, is the first one that offers market projections considerably lower than were published in the previous version [see article, p3].

Market forecasting has always been somewhat of a black art and it will probably never be possible to produce a completely accurate prediction of market size five years into the future. Still, it troubles us to have to present a picture of the neurotechnology industry that is not as rosy as our previous forecast.

Given everything that has taken place in the world economy in the last six months, it perhaps should not be surprising that some level of contraction would take place. Many vendors that we spoke with when preparing our newest forecast told us that sales either had been or are expected to be impacted by tightening of credit and by general economic conditions, though several others told us that devices sales were resistant to the overall down market. But battles over reimbursement, and in particular obtaining national coverage decisions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, continue to exert a negative impact on the market. Regardless of how soon the economy rebounds from this crisis, the neurotechnology industry will be dealing with this problem for some time, unless and until healthcare reform produces a dramatic shift in Medicare focus and funding.

But lest we sound too gloomy, let us remember that even if some market segments didn’t materialize as quickly as we might have thought a few years ago, the overall neurotechnology market is still poised for considerable growth, from $4.3 billion next year to $10.2 billion in 2014. And some product categories, such as spinal cord stimulation systems, are expected to be larger in this report than we projected previously. The influx of new competitors has already left its mark on device sales in that segment, and the availability of new applications for existing devices will be a further stimulus for market growth, even if the time horizon separating new devices from sales revenues expands in the future.

We feel confident that the market projections we offer in The Market for Neurotechnology: 2010-2014 are reasonable and realizable. And we take seriously our responsibility to report the bad along with the good in our publications. But nothing would please us more than having to admit, five years from now, that our current round of market projections underestimated the actual figures.

James Cavuoto
Editor and Publisher



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