Since 1949, average life expectancy in China increased from less than 40 years to 73 years, with most of the growth occurring before 1980. Healthcare, by majority, is delivered by state run hospitals, which are classified into three tiers by the Ministry or Health, according to facilities, equipment and staffing.
CR and DR Market Size by Region, Administrative Level and Hospital Size
Uneven government investment, low healthcare budgets and poor coverage characterize the demand-end of the sector. The supply-side is characterized by a relatively small number of quality producers (both for devices and drugs), imbalanced pricing and inefficient and opaque distribution channels.
Foreign-invested providers are the source of high-end products such as magnetic resonance imaging, patient monitoring devices and disposable medical devices. Health insurance coverage is growing, which may also increase the demand for high-quality and niche healthcare. Going forward, China’s aging population will place increasing demands on the healthcare system and the government will be the source of increased investment as it aims to keep medical coverage as universal as possible. This will be challenging as China’s wealthy are increasingly opting to stay at home for treatment by Chinese doctors, the best of whom are considered to be among the best in the world.
Below is a list of products that GCiS have experience in. Target products are not limited to this list.
- Contrast media, other medical chemicals
- CT, DR, MRI and other radiology
- Dental Equipment
- Endoscopy markets (rigid, flexible)
- Hospital infrastructure such as OR lighting
- Hospital IT such as PACS
- Lifesaving device (eg, anesthesia, ventilators)
- Patient monitoring
- Select Surgical Instruments
- Surgical implants, orthopedics
Client Needs & Project Background
A European supplier of surgical infrastructure equipment had a range of top-end products (sold separately or as a set) and a long history in China, though was still a second tier player in this market. The company had strong competition, both from western and other Asian suppliers, though believed that it warranted greater market share than it had, and wanted the information tools with which to address this problem. This included a reliable understanding of the market figures, direct feedback from hospital customers on their needs, expectations and use trends, as well as specific channel data, among other information.
This was a very in-depth project, focusing on both the supply-end and demand-end of the market, as well as eliciting strategic recommendations. There were a significant number of interviews that focused on direct competitors as well as a range of distributors and system integrators, and over 100 hospitals (Level 3a, 3b, 2a) in over 12 cities in China, all done in-person. The results provided a range of insights. First, feedback from hospital customers on the client’s product sets was strong to very strong, well above feedback on its competitor’s products, confirming the client’s hypothesis that its product offering is a strong selling point. The market figures showed that the client is still in the middle of the pack competitively, though the market is growing strongly and demand for quality increasing. The channel research evaluated potential distribution partners. The research showed that the client has a strong basis to gain market share, and GCiS recommended that it invest in both brand development as well as gradual channel network expansion, among other suggestions.