Technological development globally has never been so rapid.. If you visit trade shows like Medica, Compamed or Medtec live etc. you understand the breadth of the innovations and improvements that are being developed but which have not yet reached everyday life in healthcare.
As we get older and more and more countries now invest large resources in public health, the demand for medical devices is also very high. It is thus a growing industry with good future prospects. Therefore, it is interesting to follow the development of this market in an international context. However, the report does not cover the area of Digital Health, which is based on information and communication technology.
MedTech Europe is the unifying organization for the medical technology industry in Europe, and represents the industry “from diagnosis to cure”. Every year, a report is published with statistics, which we reproduce here in an abbreviated version. Some of the figures are from 2018 or 2019.
MedTech Europe briefly defines medical technology as follows:
Medical technology is any technology used to save lives or improve health.
A few examples are everyday medical devices such as plasters, syringes, latex gloves or goggles, wheelchairs, pregnancy tests or hearing aids. But also high-tech equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging or robotic surgery. It is thus a huge area that is of great importance for, among other things, employment in each country.
There are more than 500,000 different medical devices in hospitals, healthcare and homes.
A constant flow of innovation characterizes the industry, which is barely surpassed by new patents in digital communication. The United States and Europe globally led patent applications for new medical devices by about 40% each in 2019, which means about 28,000 new patents. Of these applications, more than a quarter are granted, which is comparatively very high.
As a rule, the life cycle of a medical device is “only” 18-20 months before an improved product is on the market.
The industry employs more than 730,000 people in Europe. Germany has the highest absolute share and accounts for 30% of all medtech related employees in Europe. But per capita, Ireland and Switzerland lead. In Ireland, almost 1% of the population works in the medical technology industry. For Sweden, the proportion is 27,000 people, which per capita is just behind Germany.
There are more than 32,000 medical technology companies in Europe and as many as 95% of them are so-called small and medium-sized companies with less than 50 employees.
On average, countries spend about 10% of GDP on health and medical care, where medical technology accounts for just under 1%. However, there are large variations within Europe.
The cost of medical technology is around 225 euros per capita in a weighted average.
The market for medical technology was worth approximately 120 billion euros in 2018 and the largest markets are Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
With 27% of the world market, the European market for medical technology is the second largest after the USA with 43%. China has a large growth potential based on its population but so far only accounts for about 6%. The market has grown by an average of around 4% every year for the past 10 years.
The medical technology market has a positive surplus of EUR 11.7 billion in the trade balance. The largest trading partners are the USA, China, Japan and Mexico.
Imports into Europe are dominated by the United States with just over half, followed by China (12.7%), Mexico (6.6%) and Japan (6%).
Germany, the Netherlands and, above all, Ireland (5.5 times) have relatively much larger exports in relation to imports. Sweden’s imports exceed exports by EUR 259 million. The largest countries are the largest importers in the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain.
See also our article What is medical technology??
Source: Medtech Europe.