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19th October 2023

Growing influence of Med Tech and innovation in Europe’s healthcare sector

Oliver Bisazza, CEO of Med Tech Europe, delivered a keynote address at the Malta Med-Tech World Summit being held this week. He provided valuable insights into the medical technology sector. Med Tech Europe serves as the leading industry voice for the sector and is pivotal in representing the interests of medical technology in Europe.

In his keynote at the summit which took place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Bisazza spoke about the ongoing changes and uncertainties surrounding the European Medical Device Regulation (MDR). He said that the constant changes in the MDR are working to ensure that regulation is at the forefront. He highlighted his role as the director general of MedTech Europe and his responsibilities in liaising between members and EU regulators.

Driving efficiency

Bisazza began by addressing the fundamental question, “What exactly is med tech?” He explained that med tech encompasses medical devices and in vitro diagnostics crucial for healthcare monitoring, constituting in regulated healthcare products. This field also includes digital health solutions, with over half a million med tech products available in Europe.

He highlighted the prevalence of common med tech products, such as stents, hip replacements, pacemakers, and knee replacements, highlighting their high production rates in Europe.

The keynote underscored the vibrant innovation in the med tech sector, particularly within Europe, while acknowledging the challenges faced in developing innovative products and solutions. A significant portion of this innovation comes from SMEs and start-ups, with over 15,000 patent applications filed with the EOP last year, marking a 1.3 percent growth compared to the previous year.

Bisazza explained the industry’s role as a major employer, directly employing over 850,000 people in Europe alone. The sector operates within a complex legal framework, with obligations at national, EU, and international levels, along with increasing emphasis on green tender requirements.

A consistent regulatory and policy framework for digital health was stressed, highlighting the importance of trust, skills, literacy, interoperability, and healthcare providers in this context.

With 35,000 medical technology companies in Europe, SMEs constitute 92 percent of these businesses. Notably, many of these companies are located in Germany, Italy, the UK, France, and Switzerland. Europe allocates a substantial budget to medical technology, with an expenditure of €312 per capita and 11 percent of the GDP allocated to healthcare. The keynote acknowledged that 86 percent of this healthcare budget is spent on medical technology, demonstrating the sector’s critical role in healthcare delivery.

Bisazza concluded by emphasizing the need for solutions to make healthcare more efficient and highlighted Europe’s position as the world’s second-largest market, covering 26.4 percent of the global market. His keynote provided valuable insights into the dynamic and pivotal role of med tech in the healthcare industry.

Oliver Bisazza is CEO of MedTech Europe. He was speaking at Malta Med-Tech World Summit.

Related topics:

Med-Tech World – Connecting the future of Healthcare Summit takes place in Malta between 19-20 October

Building Malta’s Med-Tech hub – keynote by Dr Chris Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for health – MedTech