The Healthcare & Medical Technologies Sector covers a broad range sub-sectors including:
- Assistive technologies: Homecare and rehabilitation equipment, to assist elderly people or people with reduced functionalities. Devices and prosthetics to assist or train elderly people or people with reduced functionalities.
- Medical equipment: Any instrument, apparatus, device or material used in diagnosing, treating and/or preventing of human or animal diseases, thereby excluding the use of pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means.
- ICT for healthcare: New or improved equipment might be used for enhancing healthcare, such as miniaturised and cheaper electronics and sensors, high-density memory, micro-electromechanical systems, and novel combinations of existing devices.
- Telemedicine and remote health monitoring: Homecare, telecommunication networks, radiographs, pathology freeze frames. Examination, observation and treatment of patients and the training of personnel by utilising telecommunications.
- Nanotechnology healthcare
- Dental products: Diagnostic technologies, Preventive technologies, Oral hard tissue disease treatment technologies, Regenerative medical technologies, Dental laboratory technologies
The European Union is the second biggest player in the global Healthcare and Medical Technology market as it accounts for 31% of the global market.
The medical technology industry, accounting for more than 500,000 different technologies, is helping to make the healthcare systems more efficient, more cost-effective and more sustainable.
The European industry is valued at around € 100 billion and is growing on an average annual rate of 4%.
A remarkable characteristic of the European medical technology industry, which counts 25,000 companies and employs 575,000 people, is that 95% of its companies are small-medium enterprises (SMEs). Germany is the country that holds the largest market share of the European Healthcare and Medical Technology industry (28%). It is followed by France (16%), the United Kingdom (12%), Italy (10%) and Spain (5%).
With an ageing population, it is expectable that the number of people with disabilities will increase accordingly. It is estimated that 2.6 million people in Europe have mobility problems affecting their upper limbs, and around 1.3 million of them require assistive technologies to be able to perform everyday tasks. In the assistive technology sector there is much room for innovation and in fact recent developments are going towards the direction of personalised technologies, as no disability is equal to one another.
Medical devices are an extremely diverse group of products. It covers very simple applications such as first-aid bandages, and more complex devices such as implanted cardiac and neurological devices and magnetic resonance imaging devices. Historically, the medical device industry has been highly attractive, with 5% average annual growth and operating margins between 23% and 25%. The industry has been relatively stable for decades.
ICT for Healthcare
Information and Communication Technology for health and wellbeing (eHealth) is becoming increasingly important to deliver top-quality care to European citizens. Generally, eHealth includes services such as Electronic Health Records, telemedicine, health information system, clinical decision support, health management, consumer health informatics, m-health (mobile technology) and e-prescribing. The global eHealth market was valued more than US$ 85 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow at a rate of 15.5% until 2022.
Telemedicine and Remote Health Monitoring
Telemedicine services are used in several medical areas including diabetes control, primary healthcare, psychiatry, genetics, radiology, pathology, cardiology etc. The European market for telemedicine is expected to grow significantly in the next years, continuing the existing trend.
A 2015 report estimated the market value in 2019 to reach almost US$ 13 billion.
The global nanomedicine market is growing steadily, it was valued at US$ 214.2 billion in 2013 and US$ 248.3 billion in 2014. The total market is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 16.3% from 2014 through 2019 and reach $528 billion by 2019. The main segment of the nanomedicine market is the one of anticancer products which was valued US$ 28 billion in 2011.
The global dental laboratory market is expected to grow in the future due to the influence of factors such as growing demand for better dental aesthetics, aging population, and increasing purchasing power of the baby boomer generation. In 2013, three European markets reported growth rates for total sales: Denmark up by 12.75%; France up by 1.98% and United Kingdom up by 1.04%.