Insights and Opportunities
Overview: The German market for medical devices stood at $24 billion in 2007, up 6.9% from 2006. Health expenditures in Germany amounted to $335 billion in 2007, approximately 10.6% of Germany’s GDP. There are about 1,250 local medical device manufacturers, which produced medical devices valued at roughly $24 billion in 2007.
The market continues to be export-driven, with 64% of local production going into foreign markets. Major barriers to local market expansion are ongoing health reform efforts and cost-containment measures. Demand will mainly be driven by demographics and a substantial increase in the number of patients, by the need for economies of scale and efficient procedures, and by a major investment backlog estimated at $63 billion in hospitals and doctors’ practices.
The German medical market defies the financial crisis and expects healthy growth between 5-8% for the next twelve months. Industry experts characterize the medical device market as one with high growth dynamics and continuing consolidation, making it highly attractive for investors. It will also continue to provide excellent potential for U.S. suppliers of innovative and price-competitive products. U.S. medical device exporters to Germany continue to hold a 28-30% market share, depending on product.
As a result of the general need for cost savings in the medical sector, there are no identifiable major projects in this sector. As a result of ongoing health care reforms, the number of acute care hospitals decreased to 2,087 in 2007. Private hospitals account for 26% of the total. Investment opportunities may arise through a drive toward further hospital privatization and consolidation. Diagnostic and integrated care centers and the combination of practices with private home care may provide additional opportunities. The trend is toward miniaturization of electro-medical equipment and nanotechnology products.
Best Products/Services: Laser-optics in vascular surgery, urology, gastrology, dermatology, and neurosurgery; New diagnostic and imaging devices; Specialized wound care; Easy-to-use home care products; Preventive diagnostics and medical products; Innovative orthopedic and physiotherapy devices; Biomaterials; cardiovascular and endoscopy products; Natural orifice surgery; and Novel imaging technologies, e-health, telemedicine and telemonitoring products.