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Medizintechnik ASEAN

Opportunities for medical technology in the ASEAN region

Business Opportunities | March 8, 2024

With a population of over 600 million and a society that is not only ageing but also growing old, the high demand for medical care in the ASEAN region also offers great opportunities for foreign investors.

In addition to the increasing demand for specialised medical care, the expansion of emergency care is a burning issue. However, the conditions of the facillities not only differs between the individual countries, but also shows particularly pronounced disparities on the national levels between urban and more rural, remote regions.

While Singapore and Thailand can report high international standards, in Vietnam and Malaysia is still potential for improvement as far as rural regions are concerned. The situation is similar in Indonesia and the Philippines.

In contrast, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar report significant deficits in terms of both equipment and the level of staff training.

Although this pent-up demand may seem sobering at first glance, at second glance it harbours enormous opportunities – also for foreign suppliers. The willingness as well as the plans exist to build new medical facilities and equip them accordingly.

In terms of equipment, orthopaedic equipment (18.1%) accounted for a large proportion of medical imports in the ASEAN region in 2018, closely followed by X-ray machines and equipment (15.1%).

The Covid-19 pandemic also triggered an increased demand for ventilators. The need for telemedicine solutions also rose rapidly during the pandemic, but can also provide a solution for rural, underserved areas as of today.

In general, the countries are also increasingly working towards higher capacities, i.e. more free hospital beds and complementary inventory, which in turn represents an opportunity.

Opportunities to grow in the medical technology sector are also constantly emerging outside of the ASEAN-region. An analysis of the opportunities that can be taken in the second largest market for medical devices – China – can be found here.

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