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 ten 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 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.
Production of medical equipment
Despite 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 wavered in Brazil. Meanwhile, countries such as Colombia and Mexico have seen a rise in employment within the sector. Recent shifts in work opportunities in medical manufacturing indicate that though many major medical technology companies are based in Brazil, production itself is increasingly happening elsewhere in Latin America.
Use of medical devices
The use of medical technology within the region also varies widely, with access to the best technology largely dependent on the public health care structure of each country, and in many cases on the patients' economic capacity to pay for private insurance or medical facilities. As of 2018, Mexico and Peru had the highest share of people who used connected health devices at around eight percent in both countries. Meanwhile, Colombia’s medical devices usage rate stood at five percent in the same year.
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