Market research firm Kalorama Information, Rockville, Md, has released a list of what it says are the top five trends in healthcare for the past year. The company based its list on news events, growth rates of markets it studied, and information requests the firm received from industry participants in 2014.

The trends include the following:

  • BRIC growth good but not as good. Economic growth in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, while still strong, slowed down in 2014. Kalorama believes this will impact manufacturers’ plans to use these emerging markets to counter slow revenue growth in developed markets.
  • The next-generation sequencer evolves into clinical medicine. There was high interest in the healthcare industry in using DNA sequencing for better understanding of disease and specific abnormalities, particularly in enhancing the study of tumors. The increased use of sequencing may enhance some existing test products and may compete with others.
  • Interest in patient monitoring solutions and telemedicine. Remote patient monitoring systems inside hospitals or connecting healthcare workers to patients at home continued to demonstrate revenue growth and customer demand. Kalorama expects the market to grow at a rate of 9% for the next 4 years.
  • Demand for biopharmaceutical production. The biopharmaceutical production market grew 11% in 2014, according to Kalorama’s estimates. With the investment in recent years in biotechnology companies, the company expects this growth to continue.
  • Medical device companies grow by buying. Several mergers of large medical device manufacturers were concluded or announced in 2014, most notably Medtronic’s purchase of Covidien. In addition to several acquisitions by Stryker, Zimmer announced the acquisition of Biomet Inc, and Becton Dickinson announced it would purchase CareFusion.

“There were many issues and trends, but we think these five were the most interesting and significant,” said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information.  “These were the events that significant companies will have to adjust to.” Kalorama says these trends cut across healthcare industries and will alter the way the market for healthcare products and services looks in 2015.