Thanks to improvements on quality of life and constant innovation, the Medical Technology sector is one of the worlds most innovative industries. In 2000, the medical equipment sector was divided between the USA (38%), Europe (31%) and Japan (15%), the rest of the world accounted for 22%.
By 2003, the size of the market had increased considerably. Nowadays, the worlds second-largest producer of medical technologies as an economic block is Europe, employing around 500,000 people and an annual turnover of €95,000 million, reinvesting the equivalent of €7,500 million in R&D.
Latin America and Asia have grown faster than all the other markets in recent years. The most advanced market in Asia is Japan, but countries like China and India also have a lot of potential due to their domestic consumption. Argentina has a relevant sector and also has most R&D innovation due to its existing industrial capacity.
With respect to the industrial dynamic, it is important to draw attention to the following characteristics:
• The market has the peculiarity that it is growing faster than the rest of the economy due to two factors: the ageing population, the tendency to spend more on health.
• It is a very dynamic sector and R&D research is the basis for competitiveness of companies.
• On the other hand, and in contrast to the above, simple equipment exists that can be applied in the hospital setting.
During the first six months of 2011, a total of 128 patents were published in Argentina in the medical technology area.
To further illustrate this, set out below are some indicators that make it possible to assess the countries and regions generating innovation, and the most prolific technologies.
Geostrategic analysis has enabled us to show which countries are generating this technology, starting with Japan with 30%, followed by Argentina with 21% and the United States with 20%, then Germany with 16%. These countries account for more than 50% of patent applications presented in Argentina.
With regard to the analysis of the technologies, our country is stronger when it comes to orthopaedic, implant, prosthesis and absorbent product technologies. There are more technologies for orthopaedic, prosthetic and absorbent products and also a greater variety of companies, led by those created in Japan and in the United States.