A couple of years ago, we declared that "California is hub of global device industry". A lot has changed since 2009. For now, the U.S. still reigns over medtech innovation - but for how much longer?
That's a question that Medical Product Outsourcing asked a few months ago. Reporting on a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers called "Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard: The race for global leadership.", MPO says that the U.S. has lost significant ground to emerging markets that increasingly are luring both "innovation resources" and activities overseas.
Among the conclusions from that report are:
The report's core finding of medtech innovation moving out of the U.S. was echoed by CMAJ when it reported that Swiss medical technology industry gobbling up market share.
- The United States currently ranks 7.1 on a scale of one to nine (with nine being the highest score) as a global leader of medtech innovation. While it is still significantly higher than other countries included in the Scorecard, America's rank fell slightly from 7.4 in 2005.
- The scores of other developed nations (France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom) range between 4.8 and 5.4. Among the developed countries included in the study, Germany and the United Kingdom show the strongest support for innovation. Japan has the least support.
- Despite its size, Israel ranks near the level of European nations, an indication of its ability to foster innovation.
- Emerging markets lag behind developed ones. China, with its powerful economic growth engine, is ranked 3.4. India and Brazil each scored 2.7.
A combination of government technology development programs, a talented and well-educated labor pool, a supportive academic community, and favorable tax rates have combined to allow the Swiss medtech industry to grow 6%–8% per year for each of the past 15 years. The Swiss industry is global in nature - roughly 70% of its products are exported and many companies don't have their roots in Switzerland.
And Switzerland is not alone in courting medical device companies. In a report on Ireland's growing medtech industry, Medical Device Today wrote that
Over the last three decades, Ireland has built a robust medical device community serving large multi-national device companies, built on favorable tax policies and a strong manufacturing and engineering base. But now Ireland is trying to incubate a robust start-up community as well, focused on R&D and innovation, hoping to create the next Medtroniic [sic] or Covidien rather than simply serving the current ones.Medical translation professionals are starting to notice this shift as well. More and more medical device clients look for international if not global support from their translation suppliers. Here at ForeignExchange, we now regularly work with client teams that span continents. Based on this recent set of data, this looks to become even more prevalent in the future.
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