I don’t want to immediately lose half of my readership by delving into deep, inaccessible science so please bear with me here, but on this occasion it’s necessary:
Without wounds, there is no wound care.
Still with me? Great! Science over.
On that logic, more wounds = more demand for wound care. So in theory, the more we suffer, the better it is for the wound care manufacturers selling their products to hospitals, right?
To take it further, a major cause of wounds that need caring for is Type 2 diabetes. It’s a condition linked to being overweight, having generally poor health and an inactive lifestyle. The cost of amputations, in the UK, linked to diabetes is estimated to be around £44M. That’s a big public health problem, but also means a lot of surgical wounds to care for. Great for wound care providers!
So should Smith & Nephew start investing in Cadbury’s and protesting against gyms? After all, as proved by UK politician Tom Watson who lost 7 stone in a year, Type 2 diabetes is reversible and they wouldn’t want that.
The answer? Probably not.
The global wound care market is booming (it’s predicated to reach $11,564M in 2025 up from $8.181M in 2017) but that’s because we’re healthier and living longer than ever before. According to the UN, approximately 13% of the global population was aged 60 or over in 2017.
So wound care providers aren’t likely to be seen barricading your local sports centre anytime soon. Instead, they’re innovating, and making the most of the latest tech to try and identify and treat wounds before surgery becomes a necessity.
Back to diabetes, one of the main causes of ‘minor’ amputations (below the ankle) is due to the mismanagement and infection of, diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Once the infection has set in it’s often too late to act, which is why the technology being produced by advanced wound care providers is so impressive. It’s allowing physicians to take proactive, preventative measures as opposed to having to react to a severe infection that’s presented to them.
For DFUs, Orpyx have developed a pressure sensor for insoles, which allows wearers to modify their walking behaviour, minimising the damage to feet. Other companies making similar solutions are Siren, who have produced ‘smart socks’ and Bonbouton, whose insoles track temperature changes between the wearer’s feet which can be indicative of a reduced or altered blood flow.
The widespread adoption of preventative technologies like the above could save health services billions in a reduction of time spent in the OR.
Technology in ‘traditional’ wound care is advancing at a rapid rate too – as traditional big names like Smith & Nephew continue to develop their advanced wound care offering. Other innovations include the use of hyaluronic acid from Anika Theraputics which works with the body’s natural healing mechanisms to aid recovery. Another similar product is Avita Medical’s RECELL system. That uses a patient’s own skin cells to regenerate the outer layer of naturally healthy skin around the wound.
That’s just scratching the surface (excuse the pun) of wound care advancements. There’s a huge range of emerging companies doing fascinating things across all areas of the space. If you work for one of those companies, please let me know in the comments and we can have a chat!
So, the good news is that wound care companies aren’t revelling in our unhealthy lifestyles. Instead, they’re embracing the latest technological innovations to change a traditionally reactive part of the medical space (patient has wound, wound care is applied) to a more proactive and preventative solution (patient shows susceptibility to certain wound, monitoring systems are put in place/ specialist dressings are applied to speed up recovery). The future looks bright too, as these new innovations will enable wound care to take a more and more active role in both infection prevention and recovery.
What do you think will be the next big thing in wound care? Let me know in the comments.
If you'd like the latest news, content and roles from your industry straight to your inbox, sign up to the Charlton Morris newsletter here.