Medical Devices and Healthcare IT

Flextronics Expands in Portable Medical Devices

12 March 2013

Leading manufacturing services provider Flextronics has increased its presence in the growing market for mobile medical devices. Wales-based Cellnovo, developer of the first mobile diabetes management system, has engaged Flextronics as a manufacturer for the system-level components of its device. Flextronics will be building and providing design support for Cellnovo’s insulin pumps, cartridges and touchscreen handsets.

"In an effort to maximize economies of scale, we made a strategic decision to outsource the manufacturing of our devices and consumables to Flextronics," said Eric Beard, executive chairman at Cellnovo. A UK-based medical device company, Cellnovo develops an innovative mobile diabetes management system. Comprised of a mobile connected micropump, mobile touchscreen handset/controller, blood glucose meter and applications, the Cellnovo system provides intuitive operation, wireless Internet connectivity and real-time tracking.

From an outsourced manufacturing perspective, the portable medical device market is hot, said Thomas Dinges, CFA and senior principal analyst, Outsourced Manufacturing Intelligence Service, IHS. “This market leverages a lot of the skill sets the [outsourced manufacturing] companies have in building consumer- and enterprise-class handheld devices,” he said.

As healthcare costs rise, analysts expect the market for mobile medical devices – systems that can be used at home, in a doctor’s office or remotely networked to patients – to surge. Overall, IHS estimates the industrial market for outsourced manufacturing services is nearly $20 billion globally. “Medical and life sciences devices are at least one-quarter of that number,” said Dinges. “Flextronics and Jabil are the two largest companies as both have businesses in medical that exceed $1 billion, including plastic disposables and single-use products.”

North American and EU-based EMS providers are heavily involved in medical electronics, according to Dinges. That portion of the market, however, is still dwarfed by the revenue generated from large communications, consumer and computing customers such as Cisco, HP, Apple and others.

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