Össur’s business model in brief
Össur manufactures a wide range of prosthetics and bracing & supports solutions with high standards of quality and excellence. These high-end products are developed with the objective to improve the mobility of end-users. The products are delivered to the end-users through customers (healthcare providers) who specialize in assisting individuals who suffer from movement impairment. Össur’s products are in the vast majority of cases reimbursed by public or private insurance (payers). Össur makes a significant investment every year in R&D to further advance products and technologies for the benefit of all stakeholders.
End-users include lower and upper extremity amputees who have lost a limb due to, for example, vascular diseases including diabetes, trauma, and cancer. Össur also helps individuals who require support as they may have, for example, developed osteoarthritis in knee or hip ligaments, incurred temporary immobilization, or require enhanced healing after surgery.
By collaborating closely with the end-users, Össur gains a better understanding of their needs and challenges. In turn, Össur helps them to improve their mobility by providing new technologically advanced products to achieve their goals. The involvement with the end-user is not limited to research and development as there is also an aim to provide them with quality services, directly through clinics operated by Össur or indirectly through customer service programs.
new lower limb amputees per year
new upper limb amputees per year
of all new leg amputees are fitted with prosthetic solutions
is the average age of the amputee population
Note: The estimates were last updated in February 2020.
Research & Development
Össur develops prosthetics and bracing & supports, from an idea to a finished product. With every product, the aim is to deliver cost effective medical solutions that provide value for end-users and the healthcare system. When a product is designed, Össur accumulates medical and biomechanical data during the development process to verify product safety and efficacy before launch. Also, to obtain independent clinical evidence for product outcomes as well as health economic data, Össur initiates and promotes clinical studies in cooperation with leading scientists, institutions, and healthcare professionals in the field.
Össur supports open collaboration within the industry and academia. An example of such an initiative is the recent joint investment by Össur and Comau in IUVO, a spin-off company of The BioRobotics Institute (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna) in the field of wearable technologies. The objective of IUVO is to create wearable, intelligent and active tools for a better quality of life. The first concrete examples are bionic bracing (robotic exoskeletons) capable of aiding and improving the quality of life for workers in industrial and service fields, and for end-users in need of improved mobility.
Manufacturing & Quality
Össur maintains a strong global manufacturing function. Manufacturing of advanced prosthetic solutions, including bionics, takes place in Iceland and Scotland. Manufacturing of other prosthetics solutions, components and premium bracing solutions takes place in Mexico. Össur also manufactures some bracing and support products in France and outsources the manufacturing of soft goods to China. At Össur there is a continuous strive for profitability improvements, which includes finding ways to optimize the manufacturing process.
As a healthcare company, a great emphasis is placed on quality and it is highly important that quality is an intrinsic part of processes whereby Össur has had a certified quality system in place since 1993. Össur complies with various global quality and regulatory requirements for medical devices and is currently certified with the ISO9001:2008/2015, ISO14001:2015 and ISO13485:2016 standards.
Sales & Marketing
Össur operates within a highly specialized industry where the primary customers are specialized healthcare providers who provide and fit individuals with Össur products. In prosthetics these customers are orthopaedic and prosthetic (O&P) clinics and in bracing & supports it is a combination of O&P clinics, hospitals, and surgery centers. In a few selected markets, Össur operates its own O&P clinics. In most cases, when a user has been fitted with a product, Össur’s customers claim reimbursement from the relevant public institutions or private insurance companies. Össur sells its products through its own direct sales network, and in some cases through distributors, with operations in more than 26 countries.
Payers, providers, and prescribers
Prescribers include healthcare professionals who prescribe products based on the clinical indication of the users. These include orthopaedic surgeons, non-surgical physicians, and emergency physicians as well as other professionals providing medical diagnosis.
Providers are healthcare professionals who provide users with prosthetic and bracing products, and related services. These include certified prosthetists and orthotists (CPOs) working at O&P clinics, durable medical equipment (DME) clinics, orthopaedic clinics, and hospitals. Many providers not only recommend specific products but also fit and tailor-make certain products. For non-reimbursed products, a provider can be a pharmacy or sports store.
Payers include government reimbursement or insurance companies, where the vast majority of Össur’s products are reimbursed by a third party. It should be noted that reimbursement systems vary substantially between countries. In other cases, the end-user would pay for the products out of pocket.