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Medical devices come home: The opportunity of medical device industry in Taiwan

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 31 May 2017

The proliferation of portable ICT devices has strongly influenced the medical devices industry. Indeed, the high demand of tele-health has made waves in transforming the industry, which illustrates the great potential for home-monitoring medical devices.

Current medical services are more attentive to home-care services rather than high frequency hospital visitations for chronic patients. According to the Berg Insight Report, 2.8 million chronic patients worldwide are being monitored remotely today, driving the increasing demand for home monitoring medical devices. A BBC Research report shows that worldwide home-usage of medical devices totaled 24 billion USD in 2015.

A number of features characterize home-monitoring medical devices today:

  • The integration of ICT technology: medical personnel can get the real time physiological condition of a patient via webcam or a central data collecting system;

  • Ease of use: data can be independently obtained without any complex activity;

  • Affordability: compared to multi-functional medical devices, simple functional devices can be produced at lower costs and therefore penetrate new markets such as emerging markets.

Taiwan medical manufacturers have years of OEM and ODM experience with medical devices, as exemplified by blood sugar monitors and the accompanying testing materials, which are major exports in the medical devices industry in Taiwan. The export value has reached 255 million USD per year. Thanks to Taiwan's highly-developed ICT technology industry, the ICT features could be easily added to medical devices to value up their price.

Advantech, an industrial computer producer, is cooperating with the leading manufacturer of blood sugar monitors, TaiDoc Technology. Together, they built up an intelligent system that collects real time physiological data. Patients need only a simple blood sugar meter with transmission tech, and the complete data set automatically uploads to the hospital or health center database. This serves to dramatically reduce labor costs for collecting data and enhances telemedicine efficiency.

Taiwan’s globally competitive capacities must reconcile consumer medical devices and its mature ICT technology. Affordable prices will contribute to a greater market share, especially in emerging markets, such as ASEAN and India. The development of tele-health boosts the home-monitoring medical devices market and creates opportunity for the medical devices industry in Taiwan.

Anton Lee(antonlee@taitra.org.tw)


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