Increasing research activities for the development of novel medical ceramics, growing demand for medical ceramics in plastic surgeries wound healing applications; the rising number of hip knee replacement procedures; and the increasing demand for implantable devices are responsible for the significant growth of the market during the review period.
The global spread of COVID-19 has led to the complete suspension of elective surgeries, especially in the most-affected countries. Some regions witnessed a 70% reduction in the number of patients seeking aesthetic treatments from January 2020 onwards. Moreover, several dental events have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For instance, KRAKDENT 2020, the largest dental show in Poland and an event that attracts over 15,000 visitors worldwide, have been rescheduled. The CEO of Straumann Group announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was expected to reduce sales in the Asia Pacific in FY 2020 by at least USD 31 million. Additionally, DENTSPLY Sirona recently predicted that its sales in the Chinese, South Korean, Taiwanese, and Japanese markets would fall by a cumulative USD 60–70 million in FY 2020.
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Medical implants are artificial devices that are used to replace damaged or missing biological parts. Implants help deliver medication, monitor body functions, and provide support to organs and tissues in different applications (such as dental, orthopedic, and cardiovascular). The medical implants market is driven by the growing healthcare needs of the senior population, advancements in medical technologies, and the rising incidence of chronic diseases, such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases, neuropathic diseases, and congenital disorders, among others.
In 2015, there were 901 million elderly individuals (aged 60 years and above) globally, and this figure is projected to grow by 56% to reach 1.4 billion by 2030 (Source: United Nations). Moreover, in the US, the population of individuals aged over 65 years is expected to double between 2005 and 2030 (Source: National Institute on Aging). Also, in Japan, 40% of the population is expected to be over 65 years by 2060 (WHO).
The significant growth in the geriatric population is expected to result in an increased demand for joint reconstruction, cardiovascular surgeries, and dental replacement procedures and an increase in the prevalence of hearing loss. These factors are, in turn, expected to support the growth of the hearing, orthopedic, and dental implants market.
Medical ceramics are key components in the manufacturing of various implantable devices, such as orthopedic implants (artificial hips, knee, shoulder, wrists, fracture fixation, and bone grafts), cardiovascular implants (heart valves, pacemakers, catheters, grafts, and stents), dental implants (enamels, fillings, prosthetics, and orthodontics), and hearing implants (cochlear implants).
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The development of medical ceramic products involves time-consuming processes and expensive clinical trials. These products have to be implanted inside the human body; they need to be biocompatible and comply with the ISO biocompatibility testing standards. However, it is difficult to anticipate the biocompatibility till the later stages of clinical trials, making companies and investors apprehensive of investing in this market.
Additionally, medical device manufacturers are also setting up their facilities in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America. In recent years, key players such as Baxter International, Becton Dickinson, BIOTRONIK, Hoya Surgical Optics, Life Technologies, Medtronic, Siemens Medical Instruments, and AB SCIEX have set up their manufacturing and RD facilities in Singapore. The saturated mature markets in developed countries will further compel medical ceramics manufacturers to focus on emerging markets in the coming years.
Medical ceramics have a long lifespan but are not recyclable. Due to the long lifespan and various mechanical and optical properties of medical ceramics, the different composites used in various end-use applications face recyclability and reparability. This is one of the major challenges hampering the growth of the medical ceramics market.
The medical ceramics market in the APAC is estimated to grow rapidly during the forecast period, considering the development of the region's healthcare sector. The major consumers of medical ceramics in the APAC are China, South Korea, and Japan. The aging population, increasing disposable income, technological advancements, and growing awareness about treatments available provide huge growth opportunities for HAp manufacturers in the region.