A Growing Market? Neuromodulation Market Rebounds Strongly Despite COVID-19 Impacts

Published on Feb 8, 2022

Topic/Category: Neuromodulation, Growth & Challenges

With the announcement of Elon Musk’s brain-computer start-up Neuralink’s recent raise of $205 million dominating the news, you’ve probably been hearing Elon Musk talking about implanting a chip in his brain to interface with the internet. While Musk’s vision may seem part science-fiction and part wishful thinking, an exciting branch of medicine known as neuromodulation is having a significant impact on the well-being of patients.

Neuromodulation Background

Neuromodulation is the stimulation of nerves in the central nervous system or brain with the purpose of modulating CNS activity in the patient. This can be done using devices that are invasive or transcutaneous. The applications of this treatment modality are broad and very impactful on patients. For example, electrical stimulation of the spinal cord can be used to inhibit the transmission of pain signals to the brain, giving the patient drug-free pain relief. Other applications of neuromodulation range from treatments to mitigate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease to devices designed to restore hearing.


The Impact of COVID-19 on the Neuromodulation Market

While neuromodulation devices can have a large impact on patients’ quality of life, procedures for implantation are considered elective. As a result, COVID-19 has significantly impacted this market segment. While many treatments utilizing neuromodulation are non-invasive, they make up just a quarter of all devices used annually. LSI has closely tracked the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Medtech market through its COVID-19 Impact Tracker platform and other global market reports.

In 2019, as discussed in the Medtech Pro Medical Device Market Snapshot for Neuromodulation Devices, the neuromodulation devices market had $5.0 billion in global sales on 11,324 units. However, due to COVID-19, the market took a significant hit in 2020 due to the elective nature of these procedures. Global sales volume dropped by 14.3% to $4.3 billion. However, the market rebounded dramatically in 2021 to $6.5 billion, with 13,884 units sold.


Companies Dominating the Neuromodulation Devices Market

As of 2020, Medtronic had a controlling share of the neuromodulation devices market with a 54.8% share. Abbott comes in at a distant second, with a 15.0% market share. Other companies of note include Cyberonics, Livanova, Nevro, and Advanced Bionics, with market shares of 7.7%, 7.9%, and 6.1%, respectively.


Startups to Watch in the Neuromodulation Space

According to the Medtech Pro Startup Tracker, Nevro may be a company to watch in the neuromodulation devices space. The focus of this company is an implantable neuromodulation device used for chronic back pain. Given the recent controversies around the use of opioids to treat back pain, these types of devices could see increased sales in the coming years. A relatively new company based in Menlo Park, CA, Nevro was founded in 2007. Leading investors in Nevro include Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, which was involved with a $240 million investment in Nevro in 2015.

Another company to watch is Blackrock Neurotech, which raised $10 million in mid-2021. Blackrock is designing a device called a neuroport array, which the company describes as a miniaturized brain-computer interface (BCI) that is being developed to address a wide range of applications, from chronic pain, blindness, hearing loss, and paralysis.” That certainly sounds ambitious, and if they succeed, it could have a major impact on patient quality of life.


Future Growth of the Neuromodulation Market

In terms of the global neuromodulation market as a whole, according to the Medtech Pro Global Neuromodulation Devices Market Report, in 2020 as noted above, there were $4.3 billion in global sales. Growth is expected to be strong and consistent through 2025. Sales were projected to rise substantially to $6.5 billion in 2021. After this dramatic rebound caused by catching up from the backlog in elective procedures in 2020, sales are expected  to slow in 2022, generating  an estimated $6.2 billion in sales. Sales are expected to rise to at least $6.9 billion by 2025. After a temporary spike in 2021, units of neuromodulation devices are expected to grow more slowly, from 10,109 units in 2020 to 13,113 in 2025. In summary, CAGR 2020-25 is projected to be 8.6% in sales and 5.3% in units. While unit growth is slower, the average sales price is expected to rise from $455 in 2020 to $529 by 2025. 75% of the units deployed are implantable devices, which have a higher sales price. All of which informs a CAGR for 2019-2024, which is expected to be a healthy 10.4%– the largest projected market growth of any of Medtech Pro’s 23 Medtech markets.


For more market data on the global market for neuromodulation devices, as well as other Medtech markets, visit LSI’s Medtech Pro platform.

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