Global Industry Overview: Surgical and Medical Equipment

The world's surgical and medical equipment industry manufactures medical, surgical, ophthalmic, and veterinary instruments and apparatus. Representative products include syringes, clamps, hypodermic and suture needles, stethoscopes, laparoscopic devices, catheters and drains, and blood pressure monitoring devices. The industry also includes more high-tech instruments, such as implantable devices, remote monitoring and dosing products, and micro-sized biomonitors and drug-delivery systems.

Industry Snapshot

In first decade of the twenty-first century, aging populations, the trend toward home healthcare, and a growing interest in delivering products and services utilizing the Internet contributed to a steadily growing market for surgical and medical instruments and apparatus. As the baby-boomer generation reached retirement age, the growing needs in the sector grew as well. Growth was expected to rise steadily at around 4.6 percent per year through 2010. Valued at US$57.6 billion in the early years of the first decade of the 2000s, the global medical industry is one of the world's fastest growing industries, at least 10 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product of developed nations. In the United States alone, the medical industry comprises more than 750,000 physicians and over 5,200 hospitals, not to mention untold numbers of clinics and private medical offices. With over 3.8 million inpatient visits and 20 million outpatients visits daily, the medical industry is big business. The U.S. medical and surgical device market alone was expected to grow at a compound annual rate of about 8 percent through the remainder of the decade, driven largely by devices for non-invasive surgical procedures, especially in the realm of interventional cardiology, according to research from global growth consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Giant leaps in technology encouraged the growth of the medical manufacturing market, particularly in the implantable medical devices segment, which was expected to grow annually through 2014 at a rate of 8.3 percent. Among those items expected to grow substantially are spinal implants, cardiac stents and orthobiologics.