Updated on 5 November 2013
In January 2013, Stryker acquired Trauson Holdings and established manufacturing centers in Suzhou, China. The company also established education centers for surgeons to learn how to better use their devices. Medtronics on the other hand, acquired Kanghui Holdings while also establishing a R&D center in Shanghai. GE Healthcare recently announced a three-year $2 billion commitment to expand medical device innovation in China.
Even as many global players continue to make inroads into profitable Asian demographies, local giants like China's Mindray Medical have upgraded their product lines and are using their relationships with government and industry contacts to challenge foreign competitors. Setting the trend in this direction, in 2013, Mindray acquired high end ultrasound producer from the US and Zonare Medical Systems for $105 million, expanding its R&D capabilities and its market reach into the US, Canada, Scandinavia and Germany.
A 2013 Frost & Sullivan report reports identifies home care, structural heart, robotic assistance, infection control tools and neuro devices as the top five growth sectors in the medical device market.
The report also added that a growing trend of manufacturers making multifunctional devices that can be used for a range of applications was prominent throughout 2013. Devices that are specialized are falling out of favor at hospitals because of the premium put on floor space. For instance, the Scout device from Scanadu, based in Silicon Valley, US, has been designed for consumers rather than hospitals. The device is a good example of multi-functionality, as it can measure pulse oximetry, temperature, heart rate, ECG, and other variables. Further, there is a sharp rise in newer technologies capable of integrating medical devices into a connected platform that enhances the functionality of devices, reduces manpower burden, and minimizes errors.