The global population is rapidly seeing an irreversible trend to longer lifespans, and this trend will inevitably lead to an increase in chronically ill patients. To meet the needs of an aging society, the pursuit of better medical services and quality medical products has become a common global issue.
Global Medical Devices Market:
The global medical device market size reached US$427.3 billion in 2020, and was expected to reach US$437.7 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach US$491.4 billion in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate of 4.8%.
The epidemic has rapidly impacted all parts of the world, and changes in the structure of medical demand have greatly affected the medical equipment industry, and promoted the rapid development of precision medicine. The aging of the global population continues to drive up the demand for medical care. Countries are actively seeking more efficient medical solutions, promoting the development of technologies such as precision health and digital medicine, and related policies. They are hoping to improve the efficiency of medical care by accelerating the development of advanced medical technology to improve health and prolong life.
Medical equipment can be seen everywhere in our lives, including hemostatic cotton, syringes, thermometers, contact lenses, bone pins, dentures, MRI scanners in hospitals, etc., all of which belong to the scope of medical equipment.
What categories does the medical material industry include?
Medical equipment refers to equipment used in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation, or direct prevention of human diseases, or the instruments, appliances, and their accessories or services that affect the structure and function of the human body.
Medical equipment can be roughly divided into:
What are the characteristics of the medical material industry?
- Medical materials for diagnosis and monitoring, including physiological monitoring equipment, medical imaging devices, and medical information systems.
- Medical materials for surgery and treatment, including surgical instruments, radiotherapy equipment, physical therapy equipment, kidney dialysis equipment, breathing, and anesthesia equipment.
- In vitro diagnostic medical materials, testing reagents, test strips, testing instruments, and equipment.
- Auxiliary and repairing medical materials, including supplements for various parts of the body, auxiliary equipment for the function of body organs, and auxiliary equipment for movement.
- Other categories, such as first aid and wound care equipment, infusion injection and collection equipment, other plastic, rubber, and paper products, etc.
- The products are small and diverse. Due to the highly specialized division of labor in medical care fields, there is a variety of types of equipment used, ranging from equipment used in hospitals, to small personal consumption items, all of which belong to the vast array of medical equipment in use today.
- Medical equipment is diversified and integrates biomedicine, electronic motors, semiconductors, information, software, optics, precision instruments, chemicals, materials, machinery, and other cross-field technology industries, to develop and manufacture a large variety of products.
- Because medical devices are used to maintain human health, they are subject to strict regulations and quality requirements for safety and effectiveness. Not only do they need to obtain certification, but they often require clinical trials, which need to be reviewed and approved by health authorities, before they can be sold in local markets. Therefore, high-end and high-tech medical materials require longer research and development times, and have higher entry barriers to markets, resulting in longer development cycles. Due to these added costs and uncertainties, they also demand higher gross profits.
What are the main development niches of Taiwan's medical materials industry?
Although the output value of Taiwan's medical materials industry is small, it still performs well in producing specific niche products and occupies an important place in the world. The export value of medical equipment items has changed over time. Taiwan's earliest exports were medical plastics and glove products, but manufacturing later switched to producing mid-level, home medical products such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers, wheelchairs, and scooters.
Taiwanese manufacturers have developed mature technologies for mid-level, home medical products, such as electric scooters and electric wheelchairs for many years. In addition to forming complete supply chains, they have also shifted from OEM to developing their own brands. In recent years, Taiwanese manufacturers have made great strides in the fields of blood glucose meters, diabetes test strips, and contact lenses, and have become the first choice of OEM partners for major international manufacturers. Driven by domestic and foreign demand, and developing their own sales channels and brands, contact lenses have surpassed blood sugar test strips to become one of the largest medical products exported from Taiwan.
Taiwanese manufacturers have entered a growth stage in orthopedic and dental medical product manufacturing. With older business opportunities declining, the development of orthopedic and dental medical products is providing important opportunities for growth in the industry. In recent years, many Taiwanese manufacturers have transitioned towards producing higher-end medical materials with high barriers to entry such as minimally invasive surgical medical materials, high-end imaging medical materials, etc., indicating that Taiwan has entered a stage of middle and high-end medical materials production.
High end medical equipment is made possible through integration of cross-disciplinary technologies. Taiwan has advantages in being able to incorporate medicine, electronics, communications, and other basic industries. In addition to combining innovations in different industries, many electronics and traditional manufacturers have also begun to develop and produce medical materials in recent years, bringing strong momentum to Taiwan's medical materials industry.
Where are the development trends of the global medical material industry?
Future global business opportunities in the medical materials industry are closely related to the aging population. A large share of medical equipment products are larger items such as electric and manual wheelchairs, dialysis equipment, endoscopy equipment, anesthesia equipment, medical furniture, etc., but these are all mature products and are not expected to have significant growth momentum. Production of diagnostic imaging equipment and other high end medical equipment for hospitals is expected to continue to grow. The proportion of auxiliary equipment products, orthopedic and implant products, and dental products has increased slightly, indicating that the demand-driven by aging continues to increase.
Important business opportunities in the future will be found in the fields of smart medical care, and in the production of diagnostic medical materials and minimally invasive products. Ophthalmology, otology, dental, and respiratory therapy products that provide mobile health solutions, improve medical efficiency, and improve prevention strategies through smart medical care will all see increasing demand.
Service models that combine medical equipment, software platforms, and the cloud will become driving forces for the growth of Taiwan's medical materials industry. By observing developing trends in the global medical equipment industry, and responding to the demand for medical uniformity in Europe, the United States, and China, cost-effective products with high added value will become mainstream in the markets of the future.
What are the highlights of Taiwan medical materials?
Taiwan's highly developed and long-standing electronics industry is well suited to supporting the evolving medical equipment industry. Supply chains are well developed for the production of high-end medical materials, and in recent years, the Taiwan government has initiated programs to incorporate these advantages and promote support for the upgrading of the medical materials industry.
Key development trends of the medical material industry in the future:
3D printing is a new wave in the medical field
- High-tech high-threshold medical materials: high-end imaging medical materials, minimally invasive medical materials.
- Aging medical materials: Fillings for dentistry, orthopedics, ophthalmology, etc.
- Medical materials with high growth potential: Smart medical, mobile medical wearable devices.
The global 3D printing medical equipment market size reached US$2.11 billion in 2020, and was expected to reach US$2.39 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach US$5.08 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3%. 3D printing technology can now be applied to the manufacturing of medical materials such as dentistry materials2, orthopedics, surgical instruments, hearing aids, and tissues and organs. With the development and innovation of technical materials and the increasing medical demand, it continues to drive the rapid growth of the market.
Due to the surge in patient numbers during the pandemic, and a shortage of medical supplies and equipment, the 3D printing industry was able to take advantage of its rapid prototyping, online shared design, and decentralized production to produce respirator components with medical-grade printing materials. Personal protective equipment, screening and diagnostic tools, etc., could be produced quickly to alleviate the severe shortage of medical supplies, demonstrating the production flexibility and diversified manufacturing possibilities of 3D printing for medical materials. After the epidemic has eased and medical treatment requirements return to normal, the global 3D printing medical equipment market is predicted to grow rapidly, doubling from US$2.39 billion in 2021 to US$5.08 billion in 2026.
R&D and innovation of medical materials for precise detection and treatment procedures.
The global medical imaging X-ray diagnosis market was estimated to reach US$5.61 billion in 2021 and iss expected to reach US$7.00 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.7%. With the expansion of the epidemic, the global biotechnology and medical equipment industry attracted increased attention, and the research, development, and innovation of medical materials for accurate detection and treatment grow rapidly. Promotion of the precision health industry requires cross-industry integration and product development.
In 2022, the world is expected to remain under the influence of the epidemic. People will gradually establish ways of coexisting with the virus. Management of the epidemic and the treatment of infections will continue to drive the development of medicine and medical technology. An aging population will still be an important issue in medical technology. Breakthroughs in telemedicine provide solutions to the limitations of medical services such as the accessibility of facilities, and offer new options in the types of medical equipment and services available.