Intubation Procedure

This is a competitive market analysis of the video laryngoscope field.

McGrath, Glidescope and Storz – these are the names of the three products that mainly control the video laryngoscope market.

There are many additional companies and products in video laryngoscopes, including Pentax-Airway Scope, Airtraq, Bullard and Bonfile.

Changing competitive landscape

The majority of the market is controlled by slightly outdated models which are highly expensive.  Costs are dropping rapidly, however, as new versions are being made that promise to offer lower prices and better features.

The latest McGrath model is a significant step forward in quality of design and use and promises to be significantly more affordable than previous models.  Despite requesting information and searching carefully, we were unable to obtain its price, but estimate about $3,000 with a projected range of $1,000-$5,0000.

Crucially, the majority of competitor development is in the straight-up video laryngoscope field.

Intubating LMA Devices

There are two main products in the ILMA area.

Fastrach – more laryngoscope based, no visualization component, rigid guide tube.  Exact cost, unclear, but fairly low, yet reported by some to be quite difficult to use due to lack of vision of throat

CTrach – ~2005, outdated, not so great modern design, image component large, not offer all features, not as good laryngoscope, fiberoptic

Costs ~$9,000 as of 2008

Limited view in some situations which may prevent proper treatment.

Limitations of Existing Video Laryngoscopes

Different products have different features, pros and cons.  Some Doctors do not like the McGrath’s lack of diversity in blade use, for instance, while others are generally dissatisfied with product life and overall performance.

Some do not like the angles of the existing monitors in general, say that it flickers, or that the blade structure does not work in all patients.  Quality of monitors and screen/battery life are important issues.

Storz DCI has been called somewhat bulky.

Additionally, most existing competing video laryngoscopes are highly priced.

Limitations of Existing ILMAs

The main limitation around ILMAs appears to be lack of visibility.  If the intubating LMA procedure is done without video support, then it is essentially blind, and this can present challenges.  It is hard to see what is going inside the mouth after insertion of the device.

In approaching this limitation by including video capabilities, it is essential to provide adequate view.  The CTrach’s view is not always as clear as it should be which has led to some failures in clinical use.