A steerable medical device offers the flexibility and agility required to perform crucial medical diagnostic, interventional and surgical procedures. Access to internal target locations in the human body via these devices is generally minimally invasive, and can be either percutaneous, or through natural body orifices. Certain medical procedures, such as those to treat upper urinary tract related medical condition for a patient, require medical instruments to be inserted into the body. It is crucial that these instruments are specifically positioned at a target site within the patient’s body. In certain procedures, an instrument such as a cystoscope, is initially introduced into the bladder of the patient.
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A guidewire or a similar medical instrument is subsequently introduced into the patient’s body through the cystoscope. The progressing farthest end of the guidewire is necessitated to be directed to the target location, such as to and through the entrance of the patient’s ureter. This is a complex process, and requires optimum maneuverability to be completed in a successful manner. The access to difficult to reach sites during interventional, diagnostic or therapeutic procedures is provided by a steerable medical device. A steerable medical device is used to lend enhanced direction to an advancing guidewire or other advancing instrument such as a biopsy tool, stone retrieval basket etc. This enables a surgeon or physician to achieve better access to the exact site under intervention or diagnosis or treatment.
The rise in surgical procedures across the globe, preference for minimally invasive techniques, coupled with technological advancements in the market, shall propel the growth of the steerable medical devices market. In August 2016, King’s College London announced that it had partnered with Cambridge Design Partnership to develop a novel steerable catheter which had been designed by King’s College researchers. The catheter is designed to aid in improvement of the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, which is a range of conditions that could lead to either stroke or heart failure and which affects over 2 million people a year in the UK itself.
Such collaborative partnerships to develop steerable devices which alleviate unmet medical needs shall further propel the growth of the steerable medical devices market during the forecast period. Steerable medical devices market has witnessed a host of patent applications in recent times, which shall further segment the market growth.
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The global market for steerable medical devices is segmented on the basis of type of device, application, and geography: Segmentation by Type of Device: Steerable needles and guidewires, Steerable Catheters, Steerable Sheath, Others (steerable handles etc.). Segmentation by Application: Electrophysiology, Ablation, Endoscopy, Interventional Radiology, Interventional Cardiology, Urology and Gynecology, General and Vascular Surgery, Others.
On the basis of type of device, the steerable medical devices market has been segmented into steerable needles and guidewires, steerable catheters, steerable sheath and other steerable devices such as steerable handles and surgical tools. It is imperative that the steerable medical device used in surgical or diagnostic procedures provides kink resistance and a reduced risk of perforation. Most new and technologically superior steerable medical devices provide these ergonomic features and thus these advancements are anticipated to drive market growth. The market for steerable catheters is anticipated to be the largest during the forecast period owing to their usage in a wide range of surgical and interventional procedures.
On the basis of application, the steerable medical devices market has been segmented into electrophysiology, ablation, interventional radiology, interventional cardiology, urology and gynecology, general and vascular surgery and others. The segments of electrophysiology and cardiology are slated to witness high growth owing to rise in the number of patients suffering from cardiac disorders and opting for cardiac diagnosis and surgery.
On the basis of regional presence, global steerable medical devices market is segmented into five key regions viz. North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. While Asia Pacific is a lucrative market due to the sheer number of patients undergoing surgical procedures in the region, North America is slated to be the most prominent market owing to better adoption rates for the steerable devices and higher affordability compared to the emerging markets.
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Some of the major players in the global steerable medical devices market are Abbott, Boston Scientific Corporation, Greatbatch Medical, Steerable Instruments, Arthrex, Inc., Merit Medical Systems, and Vention Medical Inc.