Patient monitoring equipment made in China is recording healthy growth in eastern Europe thanks, in part, to the global recession, according to a new report published by InMedica. Worth an estimated €52.4 million in 2009, the east European market for patient monitoring devices contracted sharply as the recession took hold, with many hospitals only purchasing urgently needed products. As a result, revenue in all patient monitor device segments declined in 2009. In Russia, for example, the market for high-end patient monitors plummeted by more than 50%. As sales rebound, buyers are looking for value above all else, and that is benefitting Chinese manufacturers, according to the report.
The impact of the recession has increased awareness of healthcare expenditures, write the authors of the report. Governments are focusing on improving cost efficiency by purchasing products with the best features at the lowest price. Products from low-cost manufacturers that promise high-quality are in the spotlight, and this is increasing competition between suppliers and driving down prices.
A number of ‘me-too’ products are showing up, notably from manufacturers in the Asia-Pacific region, says Kelly Barritt, market research analyst at InMedica. “Low-end manufacturers are capturing sales in cost-sensitive markets that are unable to afford premium-brand products. This is further compounded by the penetration of products from Chinese manufacturers such as Mindray and Edan,” says Barritt. “Mindray’s increased competiveness is further highlighted through its acquisition of Datascope in 2008. In 2009, Mindray achieved an 8% share of the patient monitor devices market in Eastern Europe. In order to remain competitive, high-end brands are starting to launch ‘value’ product ranges,” adds Barritt.