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Medical technology in Latin America – statistics & facts

Medical technology is a crucial industry that generates over 400 billion U.S. dollars each year worldwide. Since 2013, global medical technology revenue has grown by more than 100 billion dollars, reaching roughly 470 billion in 2020. China and the United States have been the driving force in the industry's expansion, with the latter accounting for nearly 40 percent of the world’s medical device market sales in 2018. In Latin America, Brazil leads the industry, ranking among the top countries in the world with the largest market shares on medical technology, accounting for just over one percent of all global medical device industry sales.

Medical equipment industry in Brazil

In addition to the large and steadily increasing amount of Brazilian companies in the medical equipment manufacturing industry, the number of people employed in the production of such equipment has slightly escalated during the recent years. This has led to an also growing trend in production value, peaking at nearly 10 billion Brazilian reals (2.58 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018. However, the medical technology industry in this South American country depends mostly on imports. In 2020, the value of imports totaled 4.8 billion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, although smaller in size, medical equipment exports in Brazil generated more than 1.7 billion U.S. dollars that same year.

Medical technology in Latin America

Nanomedicine, which at this point in its development focuses primarily on biosensors, is by far the highest valued segment in the medical technology market in Latin America, growing strongly with an annual revenue forecasted to double by 2024. Respiratory monitoring devices, active implantable medical devices, and diabetes care devices follow nanomedicine at only a fraction of its market value, though all three segments have likewise been forecasted for consistent growth. The outbreak of COVID-19, however, is likely to have a major impact on the industry, with the sudden and exceedingly high demand for respiratory devices around the globe.

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