University of Oulu

The medical device industry market development analysis

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Author: Koivukangas, Tapani1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Economics, Economics
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : T. Koivukangas, 2014
Publish Date: 2014-06-30
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Svento, Rauli
Reviewer: Svento, Rauli
Puhakka, Mikko
The basis and interest for this thesis is the global economic situation of especially the high technology industry. In the traditional fields of high technology and more recently, in the field of ICT, there is a clear transition of work and markets toward the continents with lower development and production costs and those that are in the need of new technologies. This transition has evidently hit the developed countries (i.e. Western Europe and the USA) the hardest. Even though the other fields of technologies are clearly in transition, the statistics show that the medical device industry is in its highest growth in history. In fact, in 2012 the field grew at a pace of over 25 % annually in Finland and at double digits globally. In Finland, the medical device industry currently accounts for nearly 40 % of the total high technology market exports. This is remarkable to note, as this industry is relatively compact in size in comparison to the other high technologies. The objective of this research was to define the medical device technologies, to analyze the medical device technology market and, finally, to analyze reasons for its predicted continuous growth. This thesis covers the driving factors of this field of technology that predict the current trend in its market growth. This thesis also covers the aspects of medical devices and the medical device development processes, including the main differentiating factors compared to other fields of high technology products, especially those in the consumer markets. Finally, this study estimates the future economic growth of the medical device industry globally with special reference to Finland. The economic methods in this research are based on regression analysis of the medical device industry in the BRIC nations (Brazil, India, Russian Federation and P. R. China) and selected OECD countries. The variables used in the research include the trade balance, age structure, medical device technology status and GDP related factors, i.e. GDP in current USD and total health expenditure as percentage of GDP. Technology-wise, the research is based on the global trends in the medical device industry and the growing needs for new medical devices in general. The results and analyses indicate that the driving factors behind the predicted market growth can be explained by the science-push and demand-pull models. The time series and panel analyses indicate that the medical device industry could also serve as a global market opening technology. Furthermore, the results show that the growth of this industry is highly affected by population growth and age structure that increase the demand for new technologies to prevent and treat illnesses. Also, it was found that the medical device industry is not so greatly affected by global financial disruptions. Finally, the results show that the increase of medical device technologies clearly shortens the length of hospital stay which has been previously found to be a major factor in the rise of healthcare costs especially in the developed countries. This industry is thus evidently both a technology-push and a demand-pull based industry which is expected to grow due to the demand for higher quality healthcare while being less affected by general economic situations.
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