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New Opportunities for Medical Device Firms in Emerging Markets
December 14, 2016 - By: - In: Medical Device Translation - Comments Off on New Opportunities for Medical Device Firms in Emerging Markets

With more than two billion underserved patients in emerging markets around the world, medical device firms have plenty of room for global growth. This includes underserved patients in countries like India and China, as well as in regions like Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

While each market has its own unique characteristics, there are still some important points in common. Let’s take a look at some of the influences on emerging markets that will be relevant for medical device firms for the next 15 years or so.

Focus on Health for the Middle and Lower Classes

The old model of selling as-is Western products to emerging markets needs to be rethought. Emerging markets typically don’t need medical devices using the latest technology, where only a fraction of the hospitals there – usually the top hospitals in urban centers when serving the upper classes who can afford to pay for this kind of care – have the possibility to use them. Mid-level hospitals and rural clinics are often limited in terms of infrastructure, training for health care staff, and budget, and currently experience lower market penetration. However, mid-level hospitals and rural clinics serving the middle and lower classes have the most opportunity for growth.

Make Devices with Local Conditions in Mind

In the years to come, successfully selling medical devices in emerging markets will require medical device firms to tailor their products or create new ones that directly address patients’ and health care providers’ needs. One example is a portable diagnostic device with a rechargeable battery offered at a lower price point for rural clinics. Margins on such a device are lower than on the standard model created for developed markets; however, it can still be profitable.

Local Insight Can Translate into Higher Profits

In emerging markets in general, higher patient volumes, pay-for-use models and new service offerings can provide medical device firms with new and sustainable opportunities for revenue in the years ahead. However, maximizing the opportunity will require a different approach from medical device firms: working from the bottom up and not top down as often happens now. Regular, local insight from day one will become indispensable as firms work to correctly identify a particular market’s needs, and then create and sell a specific solution. A local understanding of the market will allow Western medical device firms to capitalize on the demand for medical devices among the underserved patient populations in different emerging markets.

Do You Need Help on the Ground?

Responsive Translation doesn’t just do translation and interpretation for medical device firms; we offer international expertise as well. We can provide in-country experts for dozens of functions in different emerging markets.

For more information or to discuss your specific requirements, please get in touch at 212-355-4455 ext 208 or

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