AusMedtech - Australian Medical Technology
What is AusMedtech?
AusMedtech, part of AusBiotech, is the national industry group that represents the medical devices and diagnostics industry sector. Many of these members were previously under the umbrella of the Medical Device Network but as part of an industry-driven review, AusBiotech has developed a new strategic plan to address this important industry sector.
Provide information to allow for better decision making by medical technology businesses - facilitate success in product development, manufacturing and business;
Represent the Australian developers and manufactures and focus the industry on commercialisation and export success – taking Australian medical technology to the world;
Support future sustainability by encouraging links between industry, research bodies and government;
Be the leading advocate for industry issues and raise community awareness of the Australian Medical Technology Industry.
To facilitate the commercial development of an Australian Medical Device and Diagnostics (Medical Technology) industry.
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A medical device has been defined by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as any technology, including devices, software or diagnostics, intended to be used by human beings for the prevention, monitoring or treatment of a disease, injury or physiological process.
In contrast, the term ‘medtech’ or medical technology commonly refers to and encompasses medical devices and diagnostics, including in vitro diagnostics (IVDs).
The medical device industry:
The medical technology industry is growing rapidly around the world, driven by the increasing affluence of developed and developing countries; the consequence of increases in life expectancy; and demands for a higher quality of life.
There are more than 500 medical device companies in Australia. Of these, there are 40 ASX-listed medical device companies. Total market capitalisation of listed medical devices companies was $9.546 billion in February 2012 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, BioForum, Q2, FY2012) and had reached $12.88 billion by Q3, FY2013. The medical diagnostics sector is a similar size (AusBiotech CEO Industry Position survey 2013).
According to Frost and Sullivan (2011) data the global medical devices and medical imaging market was worth US$286.51billion, the Asia Pacific market was worth US$91.55 billion (31.95% of the global market) and Australia’s share was US$3.56 billion (3.88% share).
The global diagnostics market was worth US$49.20 billion, the Asia Pacific market was US$7.10 billion (14.43%), and Australia's share was 0.49 billion (6.96%)
Australia is the 4th largest market by revenue for medical devices and the third largest for diagnostics in the Asia Pacific, joining Japan, China, South Korea and India in the top five.
The majority of medical technology companies in Australia (60%) employ less than 20 people, with just 10% employing more than 100 people. Around 80% of enterprises are concentrated on the east coast and excel in niche markets.
The industry is also expected to advance rapidly into new fields of science and engineering, with nanotechnology and other research developments expected to facilitate new innovations in the biomedical sphere and an increasing convergence of physical and biological technology platforms.
Australia’s medical device industry can list among its distinct competitive advantages its reduced time to market compared with drug discovery, its comparatively highly-skilled workforce and its geographic position within the Asia Pacific region.
Cochlear and ResMed are the biggest medtech companies in Australia and about 30% of Australian companies manufacture locally.
Global opportunities for the medical technology industry
The global medical technology market is valued at US$300 billion a year and is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, growing at a rate of 10% per year. (Griffith Hack, 2010, ‘Mind the Gap: medical technology innovation in Australia’)
Around 18,000 medical technology patents were filed in Australia between 2003 and 2009, with about one in 10 of these patents filed by US company Johnson & Johnson or its subsidiaries. In contrast, Australian companies filed only around 7% of these patents.
Just 25 multinational companies account for more than 50% of global medical device sales, with SME firms comprising the other 50%.
Currently the major markets for medical devices are in the developed economies of the northern hemisphere (North America, Europe, UK and Japan).
But the future promises to be quite different, with Asian markets for medical devices growing rapidly. It is predicted that Asian markets will overtake those of Europe and North America within 15 years, presenting Australia with a significant geographic advantage.
AusMedtech holds a national conference event each year that helps to build a strong platform for growing the Australian industry globally.