China Medical Electronics to Take In More Than $5 Billion by Year-End

13 January 2014

China's medical electronics market is set to finish 2013 with strong double-digit growth, helped by a budding consumer segment increasingly important in alleviating ailments such as diabetes, according to a China Electronics Supply Chain topical report from IHS Inc.

Revenue for the China medical electronics industry will reach a projected $5.47 billion by year-end, up 15 percent from $4.74 billion in 2012. The market's ascent this year is only slightly down from the 17 percent expansion of 2012, and the years ahead promise continued double-digit increases until at least 2017. By then, the medical electronics space in the world's most populous country will be worth $9.25 billion.

China's share of the worldwide medical electronics market is also growing. Last year the country enjoyed an 8.1 percent share of global revenue totaling $58.78 billion. This year that share climbs to 8.6 percent based on worldwide medical electronics takings of $63.80 billion. 

A primary contributor to the China market for medical electronics is the consumer medical segment, which includes devices such as blood-pressure monitors, blood-glucose monitors, heart-rate monitors, hearing aids and digital thermometers. Equipment comprising the consumer medical segment is second only in revenue this year to imaging apparatus and well ahead of gear used in other fields, including diagnosis, therapy, patient monitoring and medical instrumentation.

Blood-glucose monitors pump out fantastic market results

Among consumer medical devices, blood-glucose monitors are gaining greater attention in the country's healthcare system because of the rising incidence of diabetes in the country, the result of larger portions of the population ascending to the middle class and partaking in richer diets. Revenue in China for blood-glucose monitors will rise from $49 million this year to $99 million in 2017.

The blood-glucose monitor market is dominated, however, by foreign-based vendors, which control more than 70 percent of the space. This is because domestic manufacturers have yet to master the technical know-how required in making the exacting equipment involved, thus ceding control of the market to global brands like U.S. maker General Electric, Siemens from Germany and Philips of the Netherlands. Chinese vendors, for their part, currently supply products for the low and middle end of the market, usually consisting of over-the-counter equipment. 

A large portion of the China consumer medical electronics market is also dependent on exports. For the first half this year, exports accounted for nearly 70 percent of revenue, with domestic consumption making up the much smaller remaining balance. Only the patient monitor market exceeds the consumer medical space in its reliance on exports, and the dependence of the two markets on foreign buyers underscores the strong bearing of international situations on the regular performance of those segments.

Medical electronics chip revenue also on the rise

Semiconductor revenue related to medical electronics in China is also on the upswing, forecast to rise by the end of 2013 to $296 million, up a notable 18 percent from $250 million last year. China's medical electronics semiconductor revenue this year will constitute 7 percent of global medical chip takings of $4.1 billion, an increase in market share from 6 percent in 2012.

Innovations in medical electronics semiconductors are ongoing, with an emphasis on solutions possessing high functionality for both home and hospital use. In the country's vital consumer medical segment, chip revenue this year will reach $83 million, or 28 percent of total semiconductor usage in the China medical electronics market.

Read more >> China blood-glucose-monitor market growing rapidly

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