Hospital staffing shortages and supply chain constraints hit companies across the medical device industry in their latest quarters, adding to pressures from up-and-down procedure volumes that medtechs have dealt with throughout the pandemic.
The ongoing semiconductor chip shortage affected companies ranging from robotic surgery leader Intuitive Surgical to sleep apnea machine maker ResMed, possibly limiting the latter company's opportunity to steal market share from Philips following its recall of millions of sleep devices.
Meanwhile, healthcare staffing shortages tempered procedure volumes and patient visits for several companies, along with the delta variant surge.
Procedure-dependent medtechs like Boston Scientific and Edwards Lifesciences saw procedure volumes drop as hospitals, once again, were forced to limit operations.
Orthopaedic companies Stryker and Zimmer Biomet cautioned that the slowdown could continue into the fourth quarter of 2021. But Johnson & Johnson was optimistic that the company's fourth quarter would be stronger than its third.
William Blair analysts wrote that "unlike prior waves, headwinds this quarter are expected to be prolonged and likely spill into 2022," but surgeries could eventually be recaptured.
"Ultimately, we think it is a matter of when, not if, these patients come back into the funnel and that can act as a tailwind to volumes for these more deferable procedures," the analysts wrote. "As a result, we believe the best-positioned companies are those that have already lowered 2022 expectations and could see a catalyst over the next several quarters."
Finally, while the majority of the industry was challenged by the delta surge, companies with COVID-19 diagnostic products were boosted as cases climbed back up. Abbott Laboratories brought in nearly $2 billion in coronavirus-related testing sales in the third quarter, but executives said the market is still too volatile to make projections into next year.
Below is MedTech Dive's roundup of medical device and diagnostics companies' latest financial results: