The United States is the largest healthcare market in the world. Boasting the third largest population (~330 million people) and a well-developed healthcare system, the US remains the key market to target for the commercialization of healthcare solutions.
It is estimated that as of 2018, there were 52 million Americans over the age of 65 - nearly 16% of the US population. The aging of the baby boomer generation will rapidly increase the number of elderly Americans living in the US. This will have a significant impact on the number of adults requiring consistent healthcare within the US, as the prevalence of chronic diseases typically increases with age.
While life expectancy has historically improved since 1950 in the US, it has stalled in recent years due to increases in chronic diseases, suicide, and drug overdoses (i.e. opioids). While life-expectancy has flatlined, the burden that the growing elderly demographic will place on the US healthcare ensures that surgical procedure volumes will continue to steadily increase.
Drivers of surgical procedure volumes in the U.S. include not only the aging population but also the development of emerging technologies in key segments. A continued trend toward outpatient surgeries is also supporting growth in select segments.
According to 2019 estimates from LSI’s Global Procedure Volume Tracker, the top three procedure categories, by total procedure volume, in the US were:
- General surgical procedures - 22.1 million procedures. Of these procedures, endoscopic procedures of the gastrointestinal system accounted for over 50% of estimated procedures.
- Urological procedures - 10.7 million procedures. These were primarily attributable to urethral catheterizations of the bladder.
- Aesthetic, dermatological, and plastic surgery procedures -7.5 million procedures. The US accounts for 35% of global aesthetic procedure volumes based on 2019 estimates.
Stereotactic radiosurgery procedure volumes stand out as an outlier from other procedure categories in terms of projected procedure volume growth. It is estimated that the volume of stereotactic radiosurgery procedures will rapidly increase at a CAGR of 9.0%, whereas all other procedure segments are projected to increase CAGRs <5%.
Statistically speaking, surgical procedure volume growth is slow in the US, with many procedure volume categories increasing at less than 2% CAGR. This is largely attributable to the fact that Americans are generally able to access the healthcare and surgical procedures they need due to the country’s developed healthcare system. Overall procedure volume growth in the US continues to trend upward.
LSI’s Global Procedure Volume Tracker projects procedure volume growth for over 200 procedures, offering country-specific and global insights on trends in surgical procedures. Surgical procedure volume growth shows no signs of slowing down, with newer interventions such as stereotactic radiosurgery and minimally invasive valve replacement surgery seeing rapid adoption across all major regions.
The next installment in this series will look at surgical procedure volume trends in China. Understanding the Chinese market has recently become a major priority for many competitors in the medtech industry. The rapid development of China as a major world power is regarded as an opportunity for developers of medical technologies to bolster revenues as significant growth in revenue in Western markets has become increasingly more difficult to achieve.