Medical Technology Innovation Gaining Ground in China, India

John Commins, January 20, 2011

China, which has shown the largest improvement in its medical technology innovation capacity during the past five years, is expected to continue to outpace other countries and reach near parity with the developed nations of Europe by 2020, PwC said.

PwC analyst Simon Friend said that if developed counties do not step up investment in innovation, over the next decade new markets will surpass developed countries in innovative healthcare delivery. "Stimuli for new technologies [are] being built through the education system and we will see businesses focusing on new markets for new ideas and expanding sales bases," Friend said.

The innovation scorecard examined where each of the nine countries evaluated stands in relation to five "pillars" that make the United States a leader in medical technology innovation: Financial incentives such as reimbursements for adoption of new technologies; resources for innovation, such as academic medical centers; a supportive regulatory system; demanding and price-insensitive patients; and a supportive investment community of venture capitalists and other investors, PwC said.

The scorecard showed that the innovation ecosystem itself is changing as the nature of medical technology innovation evolves. Some of this transformation is being driven by changes in the United States, such as more expensive, less-predictable regulatory approvals, an increased focus on value and cost-effective solutions in healthcare and increasingly international investments in research and development.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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