Ossur, a leading provider of noninvasive orthopedic products and services, today announced the inauguration of its Asia Pacific operations in Shanghai, China. Ossur, renowned for its pioneering work in lower-limb prosthetics and a comprehensive range of braces and supports, established its China office as the regional headquarters catering to customers not just in China but across Asia including Japan, South Korea and Australia.
The total prosthetic market in Asia is USD260 million of which USD56 million is in components and devices. In China, we estimate the total market being USD35 million. In Asia, lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and other arterial diseases that lead to amputation are showing a significant rise as compared to Western countries.
In addition, workplace accidents or trauma have also led to increased lower-limb amputations. There are approximately 2.2 million amputees in China with over 100,000 new amputees expected each year . It is estimated that 70% of amputations are related to some form of trauma .
“China will become the third largest healthcare market by the year 2020,” said Arni Alvar Arason, president Ossur Asia. “China has all the key elements that make it the ideal choice for our regional headquarters – investment, distribution, supply chain network, proximity to key Asian markets – not to mention a growing patient base requiring prosthetics. Ossur is already looking into setting up manufacturing and R&D capabilities in the very near future.” Currently, Ossur provides prosthetics and components to about 15,000 Chinese patients who use them on a daily basis. When Ossur begins to supply and distribute braces and supports from its Asia office, this category is expected to grow significantly.
Establishing an office in China to meet market demand in this region is part of Ossur’s 2010 company vision: to focus more on Asian markets. Presiding at the inauguration, president & CEO Jon Sigurdsson stressed the importance of building Ossur in key growth areas. “What inspires Ossur’s growth is recognizing the needs of our customers and meeting them, whether it is in products, technology, education or in the supply chain. We see China as an important growth market for us.”
Ossur launched a new Bionic Technology platform of products in 2005, transitioning the company towards sophisticated high-end electronics and software development. Microprocessors and the development of critical electronic parts are becoming an increasingly important part of the prosthetic development phase. The proximity to a strong patient population as well as an electronics industry in Asia, not to mention the growing orthopaedic and prosthetic medical community in Shanghai, makes China a good location.
Ossur is not only about products. Ossur provides extensive educational and clinical support programs through the “Ossur Academy,” a global initiative to assist orthopaedic professionals and prosthetists in delivering the best possible experience and outcome for their patients. Ossur currently sponsors university level courses to several universities in the region. Based on growing patient demand, the Orthopaedic and Prosthetic industry will greatly benefit from Ossur’s education and technical support programs in China and Asia while, at the same time, helping to develop the O&P industry in the region.
Prosthetics in Japan, South Korea and Australia are expected to be core growth areas over the next 2-3 years. In China, the bracing and support market will continue to be developed through its network of local partners and distributors in the region. Arason added, “our philosophy is to continue to enhance and develop quality solutions and to be the leader in this field. Ossur is not about fitting legs. Ossur is about making a difference and bringing people back to the same standard of living that they enjoyed before. For our patients, we believe in a ‘life without limitations.’ That is our commitment.”