Neuromodulation Devices: A Modern Approach to the Management of Neurological Disease

Nick Talamantes
February 14, 2020
Neurons

The limitations, and ineffectiveness, of pharmaceutically managing neurological disease has created opportunities for medtech to improve patients’ lives.

In the 1960s the first neuromodulation device, a deep brain stimulator (DBS), was developed for the treatment of intractable pain. Sixty years later neuromodulation devices are utilized to manage some of the most debilitating neurological conditions. Neurological disorders affect hundreds of millions of people globally, impairing the quality of life those that live with these types of disorders. New indications for use and technological innovation have expanded accessibility of neuromodulation devices to an increasing population of patients in need of means to alleviate the symptoms of their conditions. This demand for effective solutions has attracted a growing number of companies that continue to innovate neuromodulation technologies.

The annual burden of neurological disease in the US is estimated to exceed $800bn. Looking at some of the most prevalent neurological conditions in the US that are currently being managed with neuromodulation devices:

  • 20% to 40% of adults have chronic pain – 51 to 101+ million adults
  • over 3 million people have epilepsy
  • approximately 1 million people have Parkinson’s disease and associated impairment of fine-motor skills
  • essential tremor is estimated to affect 7 million people

The US market for neuromodulation devices was valued at $2.9 billion in 2019. By region, the US is the largest market for neuromodulation devices, with an estimated market share of 51% of global device sales. Two factors have greatly contributed to the large volume of neuromodulation devices sold and implanted in the US each year.

  1. Prevalence of neurological disorders – as the third most populous country in the world, the US has a greater prevalence of neurological disorders amongst its general population
  2. Burden of chronic pain – Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) have found great success as an alternative to pharmaceuticals for the management of chronic pain

There are over half a dozen types of neuromodulation devices. Some product types, such as DBSs, are approved for the treatment of multiple disorders. See Figure 1 for a general overview of neuromodulation product types and indications for use.

Figure 1: Neuromodulation Product Types and Indications for Use

By product segment, sales attributable to SCSs account for the largest share of neuromodulation device sales in the US and chronic pain is a major contributing factor to the sizeable share attributable to SCSs. There are currently over a dozen SCCs that have been approved or cleared by the FDA. Other neuromodulation product segments that have significant market shares include DBSs, sacral nerve stimulators (SNSs), vagus nerve stimulators (VNSs), and cochlear implants. We estimate that peripheral nerve stimulators (PNSs) and gastric nerve stimulators (GNSs) account for a combined market share of less than 2%. See Figure 2 for estimated percent market shares, by product segment.

Figure 2: US Neuromodulation Market, Share by Product Type

At the time when this research was conducted, Jaunt discovered 31 companies developing and commercializing technologies for the neuromodulation devices market – a number that continues to increase. The medtech giants – Abbott, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic – account for the majority of total product sales. However, the neuromodulation market remains accommodating to new competitors with right solutions. New indications for use and technological innovation have created plenty of opportunities for those companies seeking to enter the market.

Neuromodulation devices are becoming more accessible to patients suffering from neurological diseases. Short of a cure, these devices allow patients to better manage the symptoms of their condition and improve their quality of life. There are many new technologies currently in development for new and existing neurological indications – which produces both excitement and opportunity for patients, healthcare providers, and medtech companies. However, the clinical need continues to build for solutions to some of the most challenging and debilitating neurological diseases. Millions of patients eagerly await the next generation of technologies from medtech innovators.


For further information on the neuromodulation devices market, please contact Jaunt at intelligence@jauntup.com

Jaunt LLC is a management consulting firm focused on new and emerging medical markets. They solve product-market-fit problems by partnering with companies and investors to define market opportunities and to successfully bridge the gap between technology and its customer. Located in Mesa, AZ, Jaunt services clients across the country. For additional information visit JauntUp.com.