Key trends seen at ATS 2023

Publication Date: 06/06/2023

Cranfield, UK, June 2023 – The American Thoracic Society recently held its annual conference in the US capital of Washington city. The event saw a hustle and bustle of healthcare professionals in the field of respiratory and sleep medicine exploring new clinical trends and product innovation. Vendors were intwined amongst industry theatres, poster exhibits and ‘Guru Bars’, encouraging a flow through exhibits when time allowed. In this insight, Signify Research has highlighted some of the key trends discussed with the key exhibiting vendors on the show floor.

Trend one: Keep it simple – the re-emergence of fleet standardisation

The respiratory field has been hard hit since the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities were overstretched and now face the new hurdle of the lack of staff. The mass surge in demand for ventilator provision during the pandemic often led to purchases from different vendors to those typically used. This has been further exacerbated with the additional complexity of learning how to use these new solutions, often at time-critical moments. Purchasing is now more restrained, and physicians have the ability to be selective in their decisions, reverting back toward fleet standardisation. By standardising to one vendor the need to be trained across a number of platforms is reduced, enabling quick transition from one product to the next and enabling smooth transition of patients through their continuum of care. Many ventilator manufacturers are also expanding their fleets to include new solutions that can be used in a variety of care settings. This is creating greater consistency between solutions to enable patients to transition between departments, improving the clinical workflow and reducing errors. The lack in resource isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, further driving the need for solutions that are intuitive and offer additional clinical decision support to help reduce patient risk.

Trend two: Philips Recall – What will happen to the Ventilator market?

The recall of several of the respiratory solutions from Philips continues to be a pain point for the company with many vendors cautious on commenting on the full impact on the market. Philips has previously done a stellar job at focusing on educating and training its installed base, with many of its clients true to their brand. The industry recognises the efforts that they have made historically to ensure their users are maximising their solutions to their full capabilities. Over the last two decades they have increased interest in non-invasive ventilation through additional support and training in addition to technological developments to both devices and associated non-invasive masks, to improve patient compliance and outcomes. However, the recall of several of its ventilator solutions and possible withdrawal from sale has opened a gap in the market. Whilst at the show, Philips was actively educating their audience on the importance of ventilator selection in the provision of non-invasive ventilation, comparing its Trilogy EV300 not only to solutions from other vendors, but also its Philips recalled V60 solution. Philips’ activity to ensure the respiratory industry is clear on the varied outcomes if products are not selected appropriately is a clear strategy from the company, to ensure it maintains some of the market share it has built to date. That said, several other vendors continued to showcase their expanding offerings with non-invasive ventilators certainly increasing in priority now that a gap has been created.

Trend three: Non-invasive and high-flow therapy the priority

Healthcare resource shortages are further driving demand for solutions that can improve clinical workflow, whilst ensuring patient safety. As ventilator provision expands out of the ICU to lower acuity settings, there is a growing need for non-invasive solutions that can provide appropriate and low-cost ventilation for stable patients. Vendors that provide a combination of invasive and non-invasive ventilator modes have also focused on their ability to cater to a wider patient base, enabling ventilation to be adapted to the patient’s needs. Demand for stand-alone non-invasive technology is also increasing due to its affordability in addition to supporting guidelines in use. With Philips’ game plan focused on highlighting the benefits of its existing ventilator solutions, other vendors have also sprung to action to push their non-invasive solutions. The ATS show saw a plethora of devices from vendors that have focused on developed dedicated non-invasive solutions that have the possibility to fill the void that Philips has created. Nihon Kohden’s NKV-330 non-invasive ventilator was launched at the optimum time and has continued to gain traction in the US market. Drager’s Savina 300 NIV solution has also seen additional interest as an alternative to current solutions.

High-flow oxygen therapy is a form of respiratory support used in the hospital by combining oxygen with compressed air and humidification and delivering it at rates of flow higher than traditional oxygen therapy. It assists breathing by improving gas exchange. Interest in high-flow therapy continues to develop, especially for patients requiring a less invasive mechanism to offer respiratory support. The leader in high-flow therapy provision, Fisher & Paykel was actively promoting the recent 510k approval for its Airvo 3. The Airvo 3 solution is an updated version of the Airvo 2, allowing ambulation and transportation, meeting the growing demand for use of high-flow therapy outside of the acute care setting. Fisher & Paykel has also continued to educate healthcare providers of the benefits of high-flow therapy with educational materials to support clinical practice. Many ventilator vendors have also combined high-flow therapy within their new solutions. This will save time and improve the safety of weaning patients from ventilation by using one solution to provide both forms of respiratory support.

Trend four: Lung Cancer – early detection critical

Lung cancer detection was also a hot topic at the show, with several vendors highlighting their solutions to improve lung nodule detection. There is an increase in the chance of survival by up to 90% if lung cancer is found in stage 1 and 2. This is driving solutions that increase diagnosis and accuracy by identifying patients earlier. Medtronic was demonstrating its solutions that are targeted at improving diagnosis and therapy for lung cancer including its ILLUMISITE fluoroscopic navigation platform and its Lung GPS platform. Its Lung GPS solution created in partnership with Philips is only available in the US. This patient and data management platform is designed to streamline the management of lung nodule patients from identification through diagnosis, treatment, and long-term survivorship. The incidental nodule manager will pull patients into a worklist to show where the clinician is in the process, highlighting who needs to be reviewed and can highlight what is needed next. It utilises AI to mine radiology reports in real-time to improve the identification of lung nodules This helps to diagnose patients earlier and treat earlier. By catching through the Incidental Nodule Manager, it will improve the diagnosis rates. This will improve patient care and decrease costs.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in lung cancer detection continued to be a highlight of the show, with several companies demonstrating their offerings. In a dedicated Guru Bar discussion, Softek Illuminate discussed the importance of using AI and patient surveillance to improve health equity and improving resource utilisation. Other vendors actively demonstrating the use of AI in their lung cancer detection and treatment solutions included companies such as Vida, Optellum, Qure AI.

Trend five: NASA gets involved in healthcare

NASA was an interesting exhibitor at the show, showcasing its DEVELOP National Program. NASA’s large hyperwall was on display providing data visualisations across numerous screens, which was certainly an awe-inspiring scene. The DEVELOP projects apply earth observations to highlight capabilities relative to environmental issues such as health and air quality (amongst several others). The NASA team was promoting its ability to utilise data gathered to arm policy makers with additional information to help guide air quality standards, public policies and government regulations. Several of the talks scheduled around the hyperwall highlighted projects that NASA has worked on that highlighted air quality trends and metrics. It will be interesting to see how NASA’s activity in healthcare monitoring will further develop and its impact on overall air quality in the future.

Related Research

Signify Research’s report Ventilators – World – 2023 builds on their 2021-edition and provides a data-centric and global outlook of the market. It provides a deep dive into the trends impacting the various ventilator markets with further analysis by ventilator type, supply and country. It also provides an analysis of the installed base of ventilators in addition to the associated consumables and interfaces markets.

About Kelly Patrick

Kelly joined Signify Research in 2020 as a Principal Analyst. She has nearly 15 years’ experience covering a range of healthcare technology research at IHS Markit/Omdia. Kelly’s core focus has been on the clinical care sector, including patient monitoring, diagnostic cardiology, respiratory care, and infusion and associated IT solutions. Kelly holds a BSc degree with honours in Pharmacology from the University of Leeds. In her spare time, Kelly has a passion for running and outings with her husband and three children.

About the Clinical Care Team

The clinical care team provides market intelligence and detailed insights on the clinical care equipment and IT markets. Our areas of coverage include patient monitoring, diagnostic cardiology, infusion pumps, ventilators, anaesthesia and high-acuity IT. Our reports provide a data-centric and global outlook of each market with granular country-level insights. Our research process blends primary data collected from in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals and technology vendors, to provide a balanced and objective view of the market.

About Signify Research

Signify Research provides healthtech market intelligence powered by data that you can trust. We blend insights collected from in-depth interviews with technology vendors and healthcare professionals with sales data reported to us by leading vendors to provide a complete and balanced view of the market trends. Our coverage areas are Medical Imaging, Clinical Care, Digital Health, Diagnostic and Lifesciences and Healthcare IT.

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