Use of electronic equipment in the medical field for clinical and research purposes has been enhanced tremendously in the past few years. This report throws light on the growing medical electronics market.
Medical electronics deals with the design, implementation and use of electronic devices and equipment for medical or healthcare purposes. Typical applications of medical electronics include research, examination, diagnosis, treatment, assistance and care. Medical electronics technology deploys field disciplines of both electronics and biomedical. Influx of this technology has reinforced the existing healthcare infrastructure in various ways, right from digitising medical tests, diagnostics and therapeutic procedures to enhancing the reach of healthcare through telemedicine and health IT.
Use of electronic equipment in the medical field for clinical and research purposes has increased tremendously in the past few years. A human body generates numerous signals that are highly significant for diagnosis and therapy. These signals are collected from the body surface or from within, through electrodes of different sizes, shapes and types.
Moreover, there are non-electrical body parameters like temperature, blood flow, blood pressure and respiratory functions that need to be routinely monitored. These parameters are converted into corresponding electric signals by various transducers, and here comes the role of electronics. Extensive use of computers and microprocessors has now been introduced in medical instruments to perform routine clinical measurements, particularly in situations where data computing and processing could be considered a part of measurement and diagnostic procedures.
The strong growth of the Indian economy also boosts the country’s healthcare industry. According to Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare industry is expected to grow to US$ 280 billion by 2020. This in turn creates a huge demand for electronic components, devices and products that are used for medical purposes. India as an emerging market continues to be relevant in the global medical technologies space, not just from a market point of view but also as a global hub for innovation and manufacturing.
A Global Market Insights study predicts that the global medical electronics market size was US$ 73.3 billion in 2018 and is set to exceed US$ 169 billion by 2025 (Fig. 1) with an expected CAGR of 13 per cent from 2019 to 2025. The same study also indicates that increasing preference for minimally-invasive surgeries will foster medical electronics market growth as adoption of medical electronics devices like patient monitoring equipment and other diagnostic tools is quite high in such surgeries. Therefore these techniques have positively impacted the demand for medical electronics devices.
Technological advancements will also accelerate industry growth over forthcoming years. Key medical electronics industry players continuously focus on integrating advanced technologies within devices that enables accurate and efficient diagnosis as well as treatment.
Rising adoption of medical electronics devices in emerging economies such as India will significantly boost industry growth. Although these devices are expensive, several government initiatives and favourable FDI policies will trigger their adoption among healthcare professionals. However, stringent regulations enforced on companies involved in the manufacturing of medical electronics devices will restrain industry growth in the forthcoming years.
Also, governments in emerging economies implement several decisions such as price reduction of medical electronics devices. Such decisions positively impact the demand for such devices by resolving affordability issues. However, stringent regulatory scenario and trade policies associated with such devices will hamper the industry growth to some extent.
The medical electronics market ecosystem includes researchers and developers, component manufacturers, system integrators, software service providers, distributors, marketing and sales, end users and post-sales services.
The medical electronics market by product type (Fig. 2) can be categorised as:
• Invasive (therapeutic)
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)
Implantable loop recorders (ILRs)
Spinal cord stimulators
Gastric electrical stimulators
Patient monitoring devices/systems
Handheld/portable homecare products
By application, the market can be categorised as:
By component type, it can be categorised as:
- Memory devices
The medical electronics industry has achieved double-digit growth in recent years, and this growth trajectory is expected to continue owing to the rising incidence of chronic diseases, increased urbanisation, growing elderly population and increased awareness about latest technology solutions to save, augment and rehabilitate life.
Semiconductors play an important role in shaping the medical electronics device market. This market may, in turn, represent a significant growth opportunity for semiconductor players. Performance of medical electronics relies on innovations from semiconductor players—highly-integrated microchip designs. Use of semiconductors is critical in power supplies to displays in medical equipment. Semiconductors are an integral part of most medical equipment, starting from high-end imaging to small handheld devices. Role of semiconductor suppliers becomes more critical as medical equipment become portable and smaller.
Moreover, there is a growing demand for lower cost systems and more sophisticated hospital equipment in the Indian market. Significant growth in lower cost wearable medical systems that wirelessly transmit patients’ vital signs to doctors via cellphones or the Internet and fitness monitors that are used as activity trackers has led to significant demand for smarter and more efficient semiconductors.
The therapeutic segment in the medical electronics market is expected to witness significant growth in the next five years. With increasing awareness about cardiovascular and neurological issues worldwide, demand for therapeutic devices such as pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators and other devices is going to increase.
The diagnostic segment captured considerable revenue share in 2018 and, according to Global Market Insight, it is expected to achieve 13.1 per cent growth in the next five years. Increasing awareness about the benefits of early diagnosis is going to trigger the demand for better and accurate diagnostic medical electronics devices. Further, growing occurrence of genetic diseases will propel the demand for relevant diagnostic devices, augmenting segmental growth.
The hospital segment, specifically with huge demand for medical electronics devices related to cardiovascular diseases and respiratory infections among geriatric population, accounted for 45.5 per cent of the global medical electronics market in 2018. The growth is expected to continue and is anticipated to have significant revenue share over the next five years.
Moreover, the need for a well-equipped public healthcare system would propel the segmental growth further.
Additionally, governments in developing countries including India implement certain initiatives that ensures availability of superior-quality medical electronics devices, thereby, fostering regional growth in forthcoming years.
Sudeshna Das is director at ComConnect Consulting
Fig. 1: Global medical electronics market forecast (Source: Global Market Insight)
Fig. 2: Medical electronics market categories by product type