The medical device industry in China is growing rapidly, higher than the global average growth rate. Yet, due to the gap with the level of the basic industry of developed countries, most of the medical devices in China are still mid- and low-end products and the high-end products are mainly exported from foreign countries. The good news is that domestic brands have begun permeate into some fields of high-end devices. Driven by the Made in China 2025, China will accelerate the transformation and upgrading in the medical device industry and speed up the localization of high-end devices.
1. Protection of regional patent
As seen from the trend of application, China overtook Japan in 2011 and the US in 2015 to become the hottest region of patent application in the global medical device industry. The ratio of China’s patent applications to that across the world has gradually increased to 30.6% in the past decade and has risen to 36.5% in the past five years.
2. Main body of technology innovation
China has a great number of main bodies of technology innovation emerging in the medical equipment industry. Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the United Imaging), a Chinese enterprise with the strongest technical strength ranks 21st in the world. Other Chinese applicants with outstanding technical innovation include Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd., Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Neusoft Medical Systems Co., Ltd. and Lifetech Scientific (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. When comparing the number and scale of patents, there is a big gap between the total number and scale of patents in Chinese enterprises and that in foreign leading enterprises. The top 10 global enterprises hold 25.7% of patented technologies in the world. However, with the gradual improvement of independent innovation capability of Chinese enterprises, the gap with has begun to narrow. According to the ranking of applicants over the past five years, United Imaging’s ranking has risen to the 12th globally.
3. Hotspot technology
3.1 Molecular diagnostic and detection system
3.2 Artificial intelligence and medical imaging
4. Risk prevention
4.1 Preventing and controlling of tort risks from leading foreign enterprises and developing of technologies with “characteristic” advantages
4.2 Ensuring prevention and control of risks from markets of developed countries and focusing on markets with potential of high growth
5. Development opportunities
5.1 The development of molecular diagnostic technology, gene sequencing system, PCR-based molecular diagnostic system, and detection system of gene chip have become the key development directions in the future
5.2 Seizing the development opportunities of new sectors such as artificial intelligence and medical imaging
5.3 Achieving “leapfrog” development by acquisition when appropriate