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Medical device manufacturers display their latest technology

By Liu Zhihua in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-08 09:36
The China International Import Expo offers a platform for multinational medical device companies to demonstrate their new technologies and products. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

The medical device market in China, the world's second-largest economy, is experiencing enormous growth as demand rises for upgrades of hospital equipment.

The China International Import Expo offers an excellent platform for multinational medical device companies to demonstrate their cutting-edge technologies and products, according to executives.

Last year, China's medical device market was worth about 458 billion yuan ($66.4 billion). In the past decade, the annual average compound growth rate of the country's medical device sector was 24 percent, while the global rate was 5 percent, according to a report by TF Securities.

"CIIE is a gateway for international companies to develop business in China," said Richard Hausmann, president and CEO of Elekta, a manufacturer of radio surgery and related cancer-care equipment in Stockholm, Sweden.

"The grand and significant event has drawn national and even international attention, which will raise our brand awareness effectively."

With more than 3,000 hospitals participating and many support activities such as forums, CIIE is not just a platform but actually contributes to real purchasing, Hausmann said.

He added that CIIE will not only showcase Elekta's brand and innovative technology to hospitals but also promote radiation therapy's contribution to cancer care to policymakers, investors and even individual consumers.

The company holds a 55 percent share of the market for imported medical radiation devices in China, and accounts for 45 percent of the country's radiation devices market, Hausmann said.

By taking part in CIIE, the company hopes to raise awareness of its brand and, more important, radiation therapy, as well sustain its leading position in the field.

It also aims to improve the recognition and adoption of multidisciplinary treatment, emphasize the role radiation therapy can play, explore more opportunities for cooperation and promote business growth in China.

The company's exhibits at CIIE include three new radiation therapy systems and artificial intelligence solutions.

Elekta Unity, a radiation therapy device that features real-time, high-field magnetic resonance imaging, allows medical professionals to "see what they are treating" with diagnostic image quality during treatment, offering the potential to personalize therapies for each patient.

In addition to Elekta, Medtronic, a leader in medical devices from the United States, has brought technologies and products that reflect global breakthroughs in AI, early diagnosis and minimally invasive, precise treatment, hoping to meet urgent medical needs in the Chinese market, the company said.

Its exhibits mostly target conditions that have recorded a significant rise in demand for care and treatment in China, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes, along with spinal and neurosurgical problems.

The star exhibit is the Medtronic Micra, the world's smallest wireless pacemaker, which is about the size of an antibiotic pill. Since 2001, Medtronic has introduced more than 500 new products to China.

Fujifilm, one of the first companies to sign up for the expo, said it values the business opportunities offered by CIIE.

It is debuting a new line of healthcare products at its 300-square-meter booth, which is divided into two sections: one for healthcare products and the other for highly functional materials.

Traditionally a photographic film maker, the company has branched out into fields such as medical imaging and optical components since it launched a transformation strategy in 2000.

"The expo is a great platform to showcase how Fujifilm has successfully transformed into a technology-driven, innovative company that operates in multiple business fields," said Hironobu Taketomi, president of Fujifilm (China) Investment. "We hope to deepen our localization development strategy through CIIE and further expand business cooperation with Chinese companies."

Products on show include cutting-edge early diagnosis devices for female breast cancer, and a 3D medical network system that provides stereoscopic imaging for reference purposes when surgical treatment plans are being drawn up.

The company is also showcasing a device that integrates AI technology with traditional imaging techniques, allowing radiologists to make diagnoses through database comparisons.

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