2nd LD-Writethru-China Focus: China's medical equipment market reaches 1.27 trillion yuan

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 29, 2024
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CHONGQING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- China's medical equipment market totaled 1.27 trillion yuan (179 billion U.S. dollars) in market capitalization in 2023, official statistics have shown.

The figure was announced by the China Association of Medical Equipment at the 2024 China Medical Equipment Conference, which opened in the city of Chongqing in southwest China on Friday.

According to the association, the figure is 10.4 percent higher than that of the previous year. China has remained the world's second-largest single market for medical equipment.

In 2023, there were 138,000 medical equipment patent applications in China, representing 67 percent of all such patent applications in the world, said the association.

It added that the production of mid-to-high-end medical equipment saw significant growth in the country, while innovative medical equipment continued to emerge at a faster pace.

"In recent years, China has achieved comprehensive breakthroughs in the field of high-end medical equipment," said Hou Yan, president of the association, adding that homegrown equipment is becoming increasingly ubiquitous at medical institutions in the country.

At present, more than 40 percent of high-end medical equipment in fields such as medical imaging, robotic surgery and clinical testing in China is produced domestically.

The rapid development of China's homegrown medical equipment will provide the public with greater accessibility to quality medical services, said Xia Fenghua, a senior executive of Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co., Ltd.

"With the development of domestically-produced medical equipment, people can enjoy medical services of higher quality at lower prices," said Xia. "It also showcases the technological capabilities of these types of equipment and the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises."

In Korla, a city in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local health authorities have revised the prices of 352 medical services, resulting in an average 20 percent reduction in costs for function and imaging tests. This was made possible by the application of domestically developed medical imaging equipment, which offer a competitive edge in terms of pricing.

In addition to benefiting patients domestically, China's advancement in high-end medical equipment has also garnered attention overseas. In the 2023 "Top 100 Medical Device Companies" chart, released by the medical equipment industry website www.mddionline.com, 12 Chinese enterprises were included.

"More than a decade ago, the medical equipment China exported were lower-end products," said Wu Shaojie, CEO of China-based Neusoft Medical Systems. "Today, however, an increasing number of high-end Chinese medical devices are being exported to Belt and Road Initiative participating countries. These products, stemming from Chinese intelligent manufacturing, are gaining greater recognition worldwide."

Despite the achievements, experts have pointed out that China's medical equipment development still faces some shortcomings. According to Hou, the advancement of medical equipment requires a high level of integration across various disciplines and technologies. In this regard, further development of Chinese medical equipment requires more innovative enterprises and an improved supply chain.

To facilitate the industry's development, it is necessary to strengthen the cooperation between government, industry players, universities, research institutions and medical institutions, and enhance personnel training, said Zhao Jizong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Zhao also emphasized the need to introduce systematic policies to effectively promote interdisciplinary cooperation and the integration of medicine and engineering technologies. Enditem

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