The Outlook for Medical Devices in North East Asia

Jul 31, 2012, 08:00 ET from Reportlinker

NEW YORK, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

The Outlook for Medical Devices in North East Asia


The eight Asian countries in this report represent a total market of 588 million people and a combined GDP of US$2.8 trillion in 2008

Business opportunities in Asian medical device equipment supply markets are very different from a few years ago. The traditional tiger economies, characterised by economic growth, free market environment, developed industry and investment in health and health infrastructure have had a long haul back from the financial instability and economic downturn in the 1990's.

Tiger Cubs?

At the same time, markets that had hitherto excited little industry or investor interest, have emerged as real areas of opportunity for suppliers and service companies alike. Diverse influences – from deregulation and better trade links to improved access and the rise of medical tourism - are seeing markets such as Malaysia and Vietnam take an increasingly important role in the region.

Sustained growth

With established western markets maturing, serious attention is being paid to the countries where manufacturers can see significant long-term growth. However, effective planning is vital, and impartial, thoroughly researched business data is essential to fully appreciate the current market status as a basis for future development.

These quarterly updated reports analyse the issues

That is why Espicom Business Intelligence has published these new management reports The Outlook for Medical Devices in South East Asia to 2013. Each report provides individual and highly-detailed analysis of each market, looking at the key regulatory, political, economic and corporate developments in the wider context of market structure, service and access. The reports are available individually or as a discounted collection, and prices include 4 completely updated reports sent quarterly plus a comprehensive annual review.


Detailed analysis of four health markets which account for 15% of the global medical device market and which present immense potential

Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan are ranked among the biggest medical device markets in the world. In 2011, these four countries collectively spent an estimated US$30.9 billion, representing 18.7% of the world market.

Diverse markets, diverse opportunities

These countries are currently undergoing different phases of development, both in overall terms and more pertinently, in the growth of their respective medical device markets.

Japan, South Korea and Taiwan represent highly-developed medical device markets with advanced healthcare systems and high levels of spending, both in the private and public sector. This has inevitably placed a strain on governments, who have in recent years tried to temper escalating spending by introducing various cost containment

strategies, including periodical price cuts/reimbursements for medical devices and equipment.

However, spending has continued to rise; key factors being the ageing demographic and the high standards of healthcare the population has grown to expect.

Japan and South Korea, in particular, have strong domestic manufacturing capabilities, especially for modern high-tech medical devices, but these countries continue to rely heavily on imports to meet demand.

China's challenge is different

China's healthcare provision is somewhat lacking when compared to the other three countries, but it remains one of the fastest growing medical device markets in the world, expanding at a rate of 13.1% in 2011. This growth rate, along with the other countries, will be impacted by the global economic downturn, but compared to some other industries, the healthcare sector will not be as adversely affected as it is based on strong fundamentals. The medical device sector growth continues to be backed by actual, and not artificial, demand which is not likely to change significantly. In January 2009 the Chinese government publicly pledged to spend 850 billion yuan (US$123 billion) to provide a universal primary medical service for the country's 1.3 billion people.


China has the world's largest population. In 2008, it was officially estimated at 1,328.0 million. The Chinese government expanded the health insurance programme to

cover all rural residents by the end of 2008. Urban health insurance was already well established, covering nearly all working citizens, and the government plans to cover all urban dwellers, including the unemployed and children who were not covered previously. The Chinese medical device market is largely supplied by imports or products made locally by multinational joint ventures, especially at the higher end of the technology scale. The regulatory system has been notoriously difficult to negotiate successfully. In an attempt to remedy this, revisions to the registration process have been implemented.


The USA and Germany are the only countries to import more medical equipment than Japan, Conversely, Japan is the eighth highest exporter of medical devices in the world. A rapidly ageing population has burdened the healthcare system both in terms of funding and facilities. As a result, payments made by the government to medical institutions have been slashed. The growing number of patients requiring long-term care and the advent of the elderly health insurance system offers great potential within the market. Japan has the most expensive medical equipment in the world. It should however be borne in mind that some of the reasons for this lie with a distribution system that hikes up retail prices with hidden costs. An awkward regulatory system, a slow approval process and cultural differences have often put off overseas investors, although recent legislation has attempted to address many access difficulties.


Along with South Korea, Taiwan is one of the richer 'Asian Tiger' economies. Per capita GDP is similar to New Zealand, and behind only Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia in the region. Provision of healthcare is generally in the private sector. There is considered to be widespread overuse of services such as outpatient consultations and drug prescriptions. The government is looking at reducing this in a further attempt to control health insurance bills. Imports supply around 75% of the medical equipment market. There is a growing domestic industry, which is becoming more sophisticated. However, local production remains fragmented and largely geared to supplying export markets. Medical device regulation in Taiwan is bureaucratic and opaque. Regulations are broadly based on a US/Japanese risk-based approach, but the process can be unpredictable.

South Korea

Espicom estimates the South Korean medical market to achieve an annual growth of 10%. Based on this rate, the market will be worth US$8 billion by 2016. This makes it one of the world's top 15 markets. South Korea has the highest healthcare expenditure of all the 'Asian Tigers', with an estimated 55% funded by the public sector. The government has been forced to implement cost-cutting measures in recent years, owing to a large deficit faced by the healthcare system. This problem is exacerbated by a rapidly ageing population. South Korea's FTA with the European Union (EU) is being finalised, and this will facilitate increased trade with the easing of tariff and non-tariff barriers between the two parties. Bilateral trade reached US$98.4 billion in 2008. The EU is South Korea's second largest trading partner after China and its largest foreign investor. South Korea is the EU's eighth largest trade partner. South Korea is predominantly supplied by imports, largely from the USA, Germany and Japan. Imports of medical devices have grown strongly in recent years, at a CAGR of 7% over five years to reach US$2.1 billion in 2009.

Complete quarterly updated analysis to keep you informed

Now you can easily evaluate these markets with The Outlook for Medical Devices in North East Asia to 2016.

Each report provides individual and highly-detailed analysis of each market, looking at the key regulatory, political, economic and corporate developments in the wider context of market structure, service and access.

The reports are available individually or as a discounted collection, and prices include 4 completely updated reports sent quarterly which include a comprehensive appendix

providing a wealth of health statistics and qualified leads for specialist medical distributors.

There are over 65 markets covered in the worldwide medical device series.

More Information...

Four key markets covered

Highly-detailed analysis providing comprehensive quarterly-updated reports for leading markets in the region:



South Korea



Key national data projections

Current market size

Unique 5-year market projections

Market outlook

Market structure

Including statistical data on imports and exports

Market access

Including distribution and medical device regulation

Healthcare analysis

Including demographics, healthcare system, health expenditure, healthcare infrastructure and personnel


A comprehensive tabula review of the market, including economic indicators, demographics, health expenditure, hospital and primary care data, and healthcare personnel.


Details of the medical equipment distributors held in Espicom's database at the time of publication.

To order this report:

Managed care Industry: The Outlook for Medical Devices in North East Asia

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