As Managing Editor for WoundSource, my role is to be completely immersed in the entire wound care market, especially in regards to products.
Having just completed our annual product update for the 2014 edition of WoundSource, which involved the review of thousands of pages of wound care product reports, visits to hundreds manufacturer websites and direct collaboration with dozens of wound care product marketers, I was struck by three defining trends of this market:
- The advanced wound care market is scientific
Evidence demands explanation and wound care marketers have become increasingly skilled at not only explaining what their products are, but how they actually work on wounds. As we increase our knowledge of wound care and continued the shift towards evidence-based practice and standardization,healthcare providers MUST also have the scientific explanation to support their product selections in treatment. This has become an absolute necessity for wound care clinicians to support the evidence behind their treatment plans and their documentation demands.
- The advanced wound care market is sophisticated
Long gone are the days of advanced wound care products being classified into a handful of dressing categories. WoundSource currently features over 90 product subcategories to classify manufacturers’ products! Categories now include devices such as medicinal leeches and skin harvesting devices, and handheld EMRs, which all play different roles in delivering wound care.Even the dressing categories have becoming more refined in their standard features to better inform clinicians of their choices. Negative pressure wound therapy devices now have a companion category just for their interface dressings. As the market expands, evolves and becomes more intricate,WoundSource will keep pace, making it the most relevant wound care product resource available.
- The advanced wound care market is innovative
We received a record number of new products from manufacturers during the 2014 annual update. And these products were not just submitted by new companies to the industry and WoundSource; a number of our existing participants also sent us new products to be included in this year’s edition.There are new innovations in skin care for the at risk patient; dressings are taking on new formats to better serve the needs of healthcare providers treating challenging wound areas, thereby better serving patients; visual diagnostic technology is available to aid in the assessment of what’s going on behind the chronic wounds; adhesive technology is evolving to act in a dual modes against skin tears and pain management.
I work closely with our WoundSource clinical advisory team to develop product categories to house new technologies and capture the expanding scope of wound care. Even within long-standing product categories, such as antimicrobial wound dressings, we see a growing need to revise, update and refine our category structure to better describe these products as knowledge of wound care improves.
Look for future blogs from me with specific examples of how these trends in advanced wound care are reflected in the types of products coming into the market as well as updates on changes to our WoundSource product categories already under development for 2015.