Why Has the Percutaneous Atherectomy Devices Market Continued to Grow Despite COVID-19?

Published on Feb 7, 2022

Topic/Category: Cardiovascular Growth & Challenges

Understanding the Market Driver: Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, contributing to the second-largest Medtech market, Cardiovascular at $58.2 billion with a growth of 7.93% (Medtech Pro Market Summary Projection).  While the focus is usually on the dramatic effects of heart attack and stroke, plaque buildup in arteries also leads to serious complications in the extremities. Many people suffer from muscle cramps, leg weakness, and other issues as a result of circulation problems. These issues are not just about discomfort - they can also compound other health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries supplying the legs can by discourage regular exercise and physical activity due to pain and muscle cramping. Poor circulation in the lower legs can also lead to slower wound healing, infection and even amputation. Collectively, plaque buildup in the extremities is known as peripheral arterial disease, or PAD.

Why Has the Percutaneous Atherectomy Devices Market Continue to Grow Despite COVID-19?

Treatment of PAD Using Percutaneous Atherectomy Devices

It has been estimated that more than 200 million people suffer from peripheral artery disease (PAD) worldwide. Peripheral arterial disease can be treated either using changes in lifestyle or medication, or through surgical procedures. If possible, physicians prefer to treat the condition through some combination of exercise, dietary changes, and perhaps a prescription medication such as a statin. However, In cases where blockages are substantial or life-threatening, surgical intervention is often necessary.

One such procedure that can be used in a minimally invasive fashion is an atherectomy. This procedure uses a percutaneous atherectomy device, which is a catheter which includes a sharp blade to remove plaque buildup from the artery. The procedure is done using local anesthesia, reducing the risk and impact on the patient. It also has the benefit of being minimally invasive, and if done early enough it can reduce the need for more dramatic surgeries to restore blood flow to the lower legs and feet.


Procedure Snapshot For Percutaneous Atherectomy Devices

COVID-19 has had a major impact on all elective surgical procedures, affecting the global percutaneous atherectomy devices market as a whole (See Medtech Pro Global Percutaneous Atherectomy Devices Market report for the latest market data forecasted through 2025). As medical facilities struggled with surging volumes of patients, treatments of peripheral artery disease were often delayed. In 2019, some 479,000 percutaneous atherectomy devices were used generating $584 million in sales. LSI’s Medtech Pro Procedure Volumes Tracker data from 2020, however, show declines in volume and sales in 2020, due to COVID-19. Unit volume dropped to 441,000 while sales dipped to $543 million. Delayed procedures were expected to lead to an 8% drop in unit volume due to COVID-19.

The year 2021 saw substantial rebounds in all market segments. Although progress has come in fits and starts, people have been returning to work and a sense of normalcy. One result of this is the level of elective medical procedures began to return to or even exceed previous volumes. In the case of percutaneous atherectomy devices, 2021 saw a volume 588,000 devices with $731 million in sales. This large increase is a result of procedures being performed that would have been done in 2020, although this market segment is poised for continued long-term growth.


Why was the Impact on Growth of Percutaneous Atherectomy Devices Minimal?

While the number of procedures and sales volumes for percutaneous atherectomy devices dropped in 2020, compared to other market segments the impact of COVID-19 was minimal. Several factors are influencing this market, which LSI predicts to be favorable in the coming years.

An aging population, with larger numbers of people 65+ in developed and many developing countries ensures that the number of procedures needed to treat peripheral arterial disease will continue to increase in the foreseeable future. According to the United Nations, the 65+ cohort in the United States is expected to increase to 21.4% by 2050, up from 13% in 2010. The US is far from alone in this trend, which will impact countries worldwide. China's 65+ population is projected to dramatically grow to 23.9% of the population by 2050, compared with 8.3% in 2010. While it might be expected that future elderly populations are healthier than previous generations, it's clear that the number of procedures used to treat peripherial arterial disease can be expected to grow for some time.

Another factor making treatment with percutaneous atherectomy devices resilient to external shocks, are emerging medtech companies improving technology (See Medtech Pro Startup Tracker for profiles on the companies impacting this market). This makes use of the devices safer, leads to better patient outcomes, and helps gain more acceptance of the procedure by physicians and patients alike.


Omicron and Future Trends for Percutaneous Atherectomy Devices

New Covid variants continue to emerge, threatening to derail elective medical procedures once again. The Omicron variant appears to be significantly milder than previous variants including Delta, however it’s dramatic and rapid spread through the population means that more people are going to end up being hospitalized, continuing to strain medical systems. In addition, medical personnel themselves are getting infected in significant numbers, creating staffing issues at many medical facilities.

However, while nothing can be said about the future of Covid with any certainty, these trends are likely to be short-term. LSI’s Medtech Pro market data shows that 2022 is expected to return to the previous baseline trend, but with significant growth continuing over the following 5 years.

Additionally, LSI’s Medtech Pro market data from LSI shows that global sales of percutaneous atherectomy devices are expected to slow to $693 million in 2022 as the volume of procedures that had been put-off declines. However, market growth is expected to resume over the following three years, ranging in the mid-single digits. Cost-containment pressures in most healthcare systems are expected to keep individual unit prices constant through 2024.


For more market data on the global oncology embolization agents market, as well as other Medtech markets, visit LSI’s Medtech Pro platform. Also, make sure to sign-up for the LSI Blog to receive monthly insights into Market Trends.

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