The blurring of medical niches

Market segmentation may mean little to patients. They matter a lot to investors, to venture capitalists, and to market participants. As nanotechnology seeks its market, these distinctions are going to get blurrier still.

Patrick Driscoll of MedMarket IntelligencePatrick Driscoll of MedMarket Diligence has a problem.

The market segments in this industry are getting all blurry.

  • Is a coated stent a device or a drug?
  • What's a drug and what's biotech?
  • Are devices now competing with lifestyle changes, as in obesity?

Market segmentation may mean little to patients. They matter a lot to investors, to venture capitalists, and to market participants. As nanotechnology seeks its market, these distinctions are going to get blurrier still.

The blurring of distinctions matters also to governments, which seek categories in which to regulate, and to the insurance industry, which must decide how and when to pay for things.

Obesity is a good example. How fat do you have to be to justify what specific aggressive treatment to an insurer? And is it a genetics-based disease or a choice?

Billions of dollars rest on such distinctions.