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European medical technology industry - statistics & facts

Medical technology involves any equipment that functions to prevent, diagnose, or treat illnesses and diseases. Presently, the medical technology market is worth billions of U.S. dollars worldwide, and Europe is an established center of this industry alongside North America. In Europe, 7.6 percent of all healthcare expenditure in 2021 was spent on medical technology. Germany has the largest market share in the European medtech industry, followed by France and the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly, Germany has the most employees in this sector, with around 235 thousand employees currently working in medical technology. However, Ireland has the highest employment rate in medtech, the country having a European high of 84 employees working in medtech per 100,000 population.

Medtech revenues in Europe

In 2021, Germany had the largest value of medtech exports in Europe, followed by the Netherlands. However, Ireland had the best trade balance in that year. Trade balance means the difference in value between a country’s exports and imports. European medtech exports that are distributed out of the region primarily head to the United States which annually accounts for over 40 percent of all exports in this category. After the U.S., most European medtech was exported to Asia, and especially to China and Japan.

Digital health trend

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, the advantages of digital health and telemedicine have been brought into sharp focus. Although, before the pandemic, these solutions had already been marketed as a route to more efficient experiences for both the patient and the healthcare provider. Within Europe, Estonia is regarded as the role model country for eHealth innovation. In Estonia, nearly everyone’s health data is digitized which means doctors can easily retrieve a person’s medical records. Additionally, every person has access to their own digital record to allow them to track prescriptions and review their appointments with health professionals. Across the rest of Europe, healthcare professionals agree the patient health records will be the biggest digital health trend over the next few years. Although, 41 percent of health workers in a survey reported that costs and funding would be the biggest challenge to the effective implementation of digital health solutions.

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