The coronavirus infections are soaring globally. Stock markets in Asia and Europe steadied on Monday following last week’s heavy sell-off. Traders were betting that a wave of fiscal stimulus by Beijing could soften the blow to the world’s second-biggest economy from the coronavirus. “Optimism over a China growth recovery in March is being fueled by the slowing pace of virus contagion and expectation for China’s strong stimulus.
Although the virus is spreading at a slower pace in China, the impact of the “epidemic” on various industries has become the focus of attention. This article sorts out the impact of the epidemic on the medical device industry esp. to the Chinese market.
The critical importance of medical devices to the control of epidemic
Influenced by the epidemic environment, the entire medical device industry will inevitably suffer various losses. Comparing to the tourism, catering and other industries, the losses from the medical device industry will be limited and short-term. It is expected with the introduction of various tax reduction and assistance policies, most companies can gradually recover their losses and resume normal operations.
In the long run, the outbreak of the epidemic will have a significant increase in market demand for medical devices and increase the level of attention, especially products related to breathing, testing, emergency prevention and control, intensive care unit construction and health protection.
The epidemic exposed the limited ability to treat critical and severe ICUs, insufficient separate isolation hospitals in various places, and insufficient construction of suspected Infectious Disease Notification System and clinics at county-level hospitals.
It is reported that after the outbreak, in addition to Wuhan ’s emergency hospitals, nearly 60 hospitals in more than 20 provinces across the country have to build separate quarantine districts and ICUs. The equipment as portable/small size biochemical / Immunologic tests detectors, hemocytometers with CPR detection, blood gas analysis, oximeters, monitors, infusion pumps, mobile X-ray, portable ultrasound, infection protection supplies, infrared thermometer, etc. medical supplies.
Epidemic surges industry innovation and entrepreneurship
As one of the most important sub-fields of the life science and healthcare industry, medical devices need to go through registration inspection, clinical evaluation, and technical review in order to reach the market. During the outbreak, encouraged by government policies, many scientific researchers in the industry invested in innovative products, such as virus isolation beds, isolation compartments, and new coronavirus detection kits, to obtain rapid registration certificates. Some innovative medical device products were quickly applied to clinical trials.
In addition, other industries, such as electronics and traditional manufacturing, will be affected by the epidemic. Many of them will quickly switch to the fields such as medical protective supplies production and online consultation services. This will strongly improve the development of the medical device industry.
After the epidemic, China will further optimize medical device supervision and innovation and entrepreneurship. In the future, there will be more favorable policies to encourage industry innovation.
AI & Medical Robotics
For epidemic control, AI imaging, AI electrocardiographs, etc. equipment can effectively improve the massive data processing of diseases, screening of disease biomarkers, simulation of treatment plans, and increase the efficiency and accuracy of diagnosis, meanwhile reduce the workload and work intensity of the laboratory, pathology, and imaging doctors. AI-based medical process optimization, hierarchical diagnosis and treatment, healthcare management and patient follow-up, and regional health information sharing platforms will leverage
Various robots such as disinfection, food delivery, dispensing, temperature measurement, consultation, nursing, companionship, transportation, ultrasound, etc. had the opportunity to rush into the front line, playing an important role in the unmanned world. This not only reduced the work intensity of medical staff but also reduced the chance of cross-infection.
Explosive growth in the online consultation, remote medical diagnostics and treatment
The epidemic has changed many hospitals’ attitudes toward online healthcare from rejection to applying and benefit from it. According to incomplete statistics of the CMEF during the epidemic, more than 200 public hospitals launched free Internet diagnosis / online consultation services for the new coronary pneumonia.
In the future, online consultation and remote medical diagnostics will be further popularized. Especially for places where medical resources are lacking, online consultation and remote medical diagnostics are effective supplements for hierarchical diagnosis and treatment.
The coronavirus epidemic exposes the absence of rapid diagnostic capabilities of many hospitals. The demand for convenient, small-sized, POCT-type detection products suitable for quick diagnosis, small-sized biochemical analyzers, hemocytometers, small automated PCR equipment, microfluidic equipment, DNA sequencer will become increasingly prominent.
On February 4, State Prime Minister Li Keqiang confirmed that qualified third-party testing institutions are allowed to carry out nucleic acid testing. The importance of independent third-party medical laboratories has now become apparent. In the future, with the continuous opening of medical institutions, it will certainly greatly promote the growth of third-party laboratories including inspection, pathology, imaging, hemodialysis, etc. services.
Disinfection and control products, digital healthcare devices
Disinfection control, temperature measurement, oximeter and mask, Emergency protective medical supplies will be in great demand.
Demand for home diagnostic and monitoring medical devices and wearable medical devices such as sphygmomanometers, blood glucose meters, oximeters, electronic stethoscopes, and smart medical bracelets has skyrocketed.
After this epidemic, people will pay more and more attention to health. Various types of chronic disease management systems and healthcare education software/apps based on home diagnosis and monitoring equipment will have a large market in the future. At the same time, health care, preventive care, and medical integration of household products will increasingly become people’s rigid demands.
The innovative applications of products such as spirometers, home ventilators, oxygen generators, nebulizers, rehabilitation training equipment, and psychological rehabilitation assessment will also become more active.