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Looking for Gains in Treating Pain

Innovations in spinal cord stimulation bolster moats at Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and Abbott.

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We’ve long viewed neuromodulation as a field that offered great promise but faced meaningful challenges to realizing that potential. Thanks to a spurt in innovation in spinal cord stimulation--the largest segment of the neuromodulation market--competitors are poised to make more progress toward addressing some of the areas where SCS has fallen short in the past, providing a catalyst for an acceleration in growth as we look to 2021-25. We like how SCS devices add to a company’s economic moat through intangible assets, including intellectual property, proprietary data gathered by the devices, and the differentiated algorithms generated.

The roughly $2.5 billion global spinal cord stimulation market remains underpenetrated with an estimated 11% of patients receiving the technology. We estimate the market should reach $5 billion by 2030, thanks to the introduction of more efficacious therapy, growing awareness of earlier intervention leading to better outcomes, and greater penetration of the underlying chronic pain patient pool.

Debbie Wang does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.