The immediate outlook for the medical device industry and how a lack of stability in the global markets is affecting the sector, according to Ideas in Medicine’s Graeme Smith.
As we move into the second half of 2015, the global economy is wracked with uncertainty. But as the financial markets in China enter an uncertain phase and growth in a number of geographies remains sluggish, the Medical Device industry remains remarkably stable.
‘We never operate in a bubble,’ comments Graeme Smith, Director of Ideas in Medicine ‘But the prospects are good and the industry outlook is generally positive, despite the fluctuation in global financial markets.’
If the global medical device industry remains stable, different aspects, like pressures on pricing and the ever-burgeoning regulatory requirements continue to challenge the sector in 2015 and beyond. The BRIC economies especially have become more difficult from a regulatory compliance perspective.
2014 sales figures for the industry seem to indicate subdued sales growth when compared to 2013, with an increasing number of firms reporting sales decreases. Rates of growth were also lower.
Graeme comments ‘A lacklustre European economy is impacting on the performance of companies who specialise in exporting to Europe, however this is balanced by the progress of the US economy. The increasing difficulties in China are well documented, but for instance the Brazilian economy has also slowed compared to recent years and could dampen industry exports.’
In recent years, the USA accounts for around 38% of the global device market. Currency fluctuations are key. A strong US Dollar is making American devices more expensive to overseas buyers and the recent strengthening of sterling could make life difficult for export business in the UK.
But opportunities still exist according to Graeme. ‘The key driver is innovation, which has the potential to buck economic trends, especially if the development is original and ground-breaking. When it comes to innovation, not all industries are created equal. The Medical Device sector is privileged in this regard.’
Innovative new products can – and often transform – industries every day, and the pace of change has accelerated due to recent technological breakthroughs in communication and knowledge-sharing.
Graeme continues ‘To move innovation in medical devices forward, inventors, product research and manufacturing companies must first overcome the many barriers. And that’s where Ideas in Medicine can help.’
Funding remains one of the biggest challenges for innovators, entrepreneurs and executives of SMEs. But there are other barriers to overcome.
‘Gaining access to medical professionals with the specialised knowledge to determine medical efficacy can pose major obstacles to even the largest PLCs, not to mention the individual inventor and entrepreneur. Then, creating strategies to find your way through the elaborate maze of manufacturing, patenting, legal issues can be daunting, if not truly insurmountable for inventors.’
Graeme ends by saying ‘This is why Ideas in Medicine was created. To take the very best ideas in medical device innovation and realise their global potential. It takes a team of specialised talents, medical, legal, business and marketing to truly deliver a life-changing device. The journey is virtually impossible to navigate without professional help.’