The MedTech (medical technology) industry has a positive impact on the European economic and social sphere , generating more than 760,000 jobs and 140 billion in market value . The situation of Spain in this matter rises in the fifth position, representing 6-9% of the European market. The countries that are ahead of it in the medical device market in Europe are Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy.
Although the Spanish MedTech market occupies a good position in Europe, it registers a growth rate 0.3% below the European average (4.6% compared to 4.9%). This type of industry, according to what Fenin (Spanish Federation of Health Technology Companies) indicates, encompasses any company that provides a product or therapy for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or monitoring of diseases, deficiencies or injuries that improves quality of life of their patients, using technology.
Currently there is no consensus to segment the MedTech industry due to the complexity of the sector , but there are three main categories depending on the product offered: medical devices, IVD (In-Vitro Diagnostics) and Digital Health. The first two are currently the most relevant due to their business figures, but the digital health block stands with great projections for the future and will consolidate itself as the backbone of the industry in the medium term.
According to the latest Accenture survey on digital health and the pharmaceutical sector, Spain shows an advantageous position in the emergence of digital services applied to the health sector. According to the data released from it, digitization is here to stay, “as long as it provides additional value for patients and health professionals”.
The arrival of the pandemic marked a before and after in the sector thanks to its momentum and consolidation. “Over the decades, the Health Technology sector has managed to consolidate and grow, particularly as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has meant a before and after, and a true quantitative and qualitative leap in the role that our sector plays in the field of health policies in our country”, says Margarita Alfonsel, general secretary of Fenin.
Radiography of the sector in Europe
In Europe, 11% of GDP is allocated to health and, within the health spending section, 7.6% is attributed to health technology and 14.9% to the pharmaceutical market . During 2020, more than 14,200 patent applications were filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) in the field of health technology, which represents 8% of R&D spending over sales.
In that year there were 33,000 MedTech companies registered on the European continent and the largest number of them corresponded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland. Of that figure, Spain contributed some 700 companies to the sector , of which 95% of them are also SMEs.
“In recent years, the health, economic, regulatory and fiscal environment in which the Health Technology industry carries out its activity has undergone an evolution that was unthinkable until very recently”. These are the conclusions that emerge from the report published by the consulting firm IQVIA, in which 16 executives from the main companies that make up the MedTech industry in Spain have participated with the aim of reviewing it and extracting the main trends and challenges for the future.