Bionic Implants Market

Global Industry Analysis (2018 – 2021) – Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2022 – 2026)

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From Disability to Enhancement

A human body with functionality restored - the promise of bionics, a field that sits at the intersection of advanced materials, computing, biotechnology, engineering, electronics, hydraulics, medicine, nanotechnology, prosthetics, and other scientific disciplines. Bionics, with robotic body parts, holds immense potential to improve the quality of life, and restore physical functionality in people with debilitating conditions. In the past decade, bionic innovation has progressed in leaps and bounds, emerging as a hotbed of breakthrough developments in the global bionic implants market. Artificial limbs, or prostheses, are widely used to replace a missing/lost body part which may have been a victim to infections, trauma, cancer, or complications that arise in blood vessels, or congenital defect. The various types of primitive prosthetics that were in use such as wooden legs, metal arms, and hooks for hands were often uncomfortable, difficult to use, had poor functionality, and were cosmetically unattractive. Today, several lighter, smaller, better‐controlled, more lifelike, and affordable options are available on the bionic implants market.

Facts and Figures

As per the estimates of World Health Organization (WHO), 30 million people are in need of prosthetic, and orthotic devices - yet more than 75% of developing countries do not have a prosthetics, and orthotics training programme in place, which often leads to poorer clinical coverage of patients. Amputee-Coalition, a US-based patient help group provides some staggering statistics around amputation and limb losses-

  • There are more than 1 million annual limb amputations globally - one every 30 seconds
  • Limb loss is much more common than many people realise, and the number is growing
  • There are 2.1 million people living with limb loss in the US alone, which is expected to double by 2050 - largely due to vascular disease often caused by diabetes
  • Nearly 185,000 people have amputations each year, suggesting that 300-500 being performed every day
  • Roughly 1,641 military personnel lost a limb (hands, arms, legs, feet) during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars
  • 85% of lower limb amputations are proceeded by a foot ulcer
  • Lifetime healthcare cost for people with limb loss is US$509,275 compared to US$361,200 for people without limb loss
  • Up to 55% of those with diabetes and have a lower extremity amputation, will require the second leg amputation within 2‐3 years
  • Nearly half of the individuals who have an amputation due to a vascular disease will die within five years, which is higher than the five-year mortality rates for breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer
  • The number of amputations caused by diabetes increased by 24% from 2015 to 2020
  • Below-knee amputations are the most commonly seen, representing 71% of dysvascular amputations. There is a 47% expected increase in below-knee amputations from 1995-2020

Bionics Amplify Human Abilities

Recent advances in robotics, material science, and 3D printing have spawned a wave of innovations in bionics. Some products are already available, while others are underway –

Mobility: bionic arms & hands, bionic legs & feet, exoskeleton, powered braces, and bionic gloves

Senses: vision, hearing, speech; organs: heart, lung, liver, kidney, and pancreas

Neurobionics: brain computer interface, artificial cells, invisibility cloak, and mind controlling helmet

Artificial replacement for missing part of the body such as ear, nose, or eye is called prosthesis. It is also used to replace a missing bone, or muscles under skin. If the problem is occurred in skin, then silicone is used as it is soft, and has a colour similar to the surrounding skin. If the condition is related to eyes, then eye prosthesis is used that is made up of acrylic, which is hard and can be polished to look similar to the other eye. If the problem is with bone, or muscle, then the implant is made up of silicone (used to replace skin, or muscle), or Titanium (used to replace bone).

The Challenges Associated with Bionic Implants

The assistive products industry is currently limited, and specialised, primarily serving high-income markets. There is a lack of state funding, nationwide service delivery systems, user-centred research and development, procurement systems, quality and safety standards, and context-appropriate product design. Many types of bionic limb technologies are available, each with its own benefits, and drawbacks. Bionic limbs still have a long way to go before they achieve the full range of motion, control, and sensitivity of biological limbs. While it opens up new opportunities in the bionic implants market, the occupational, and physical therapies will be the important foundations for learning how to use a prosthetic limb safely and properly.

Prosthetic devices with microprocessors and other advanced features are being developed but regardless of the system used, these devices still need to connect to the body properly. Most prostheses attach to the body through a socket, a cover custom made to fit around a person’s amputated limb, almost like a glove. Moreover, as they age, prosthetic parts may break down, the amputated limb may change in size over time, and a patient may also experience skin conditions caused by the movement of the socket.

Prosthetic maintenance over time - sometimes parts of the prosthesis, like the socket or liner, need to be repaired or adjusted, depending on the type of prosthesis used, and other factors. There are Charities and Support Groups across the US, Canada, the UK, the Ireland, and Australia that ensure bionics for everyone in need. Private companies, federal agencies, and universities are working together to advance the field of prosthetics.

Future Technologies

Myoelectric-controlled prostheses, pneumatics (pressurised gas or air used in mechanical joints to improve knee and ankle movement), improved socket-based technology, and integration of systems with the body to provide sensory feedback requires the expertise of electrical engineers.

With Innovative Product Offerings, Companies are Targeting Deeper Penetration in Bionic Implants Market

Ottobock (Duderstadt, Germany) holds the distinction of creating the world’s first completely microprocessor-controlled lower limb prosthesis system. The market leader in lower limb bionics now is working on developing ultralight bionic limbs that can function without an external energy source. A testament to its leadership in this space is the fact that it has been the official partner of the Paralympic Games for more than two decades. Newer players such as Open Bionics, and Touch Bionics (both the UK-based start-ups), Martin Bionics (Oklahoma City, Okla.), and AlterG (Fremont, Calif.), have energised the market with various product offerings - from low-cost technology to robotics-assisted limbs, and computer-enabled vision devices.

Some of the prominent players in the global bionic implants market are The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), ReWalk Robotics, Open Bionics, AGTC, Ekso Bionics, Beta Bionics (holds exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the bionic pancreas technology developed at Boston University), Pixium, Bionic Lift, LLC (Skelex exoskeleton suits), Ceryx Medical, Cevotec (Fiber Patch Placement), AlterG, Inc., Bionik Laboratories, Bionic Skins, Hylomorph AG, MARSI BIONICS SL, Bionic Power, Advanced Bionics, and DEKA Integrated Solutions Corp.

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