eHealth and robotics are key tech trends

Major Medtech show CMEF comes back to Shenzhen for Autumn 2016 / Health Technology Summit to open in Shanghai this May

The dynamic trend is unchanged: technology is evolving further, and the Chinese market – as well as other markets – are ready do to go for it. CMEF, the Chinese International Medical Equipment Fair, brings the major tech developments to the fore and links up the stakeholders – manufacturers, distributors, buyers, regulators, payors, and policymakers. The aim of CMEF delegates remains to exchange ideas, sell, and collaborate for products and (new) the financing of care, for China and beyond. – It felt great to be back in CMEF “home” Shenzhen, a medtech hub in China!

Major changes are influencing the market in China: care providing is opening up for more public-private partnerships, for foreign investment and private equity. And obviously, the “digital era” has arrived in the country with the world’s largest population: healthcare is experiencing its digital transformation – with IT-driven devices feeding into patient records, hospital IT including cloud infrastructure, telemedicine for remote areas, consumer-driven changes to patient-oriented wellness/therapy monitoring with on-body devices etc. … plus robotics.

There is a clear trend for manufacturers from Europe, e.g. Germany, to participate in the dynamic Chinese market, says Jennifer Goldenstede from the SPECTARIS association, who organized together with Stuttgart Trade Fairs the German pavilion in Shenzhen with 54 stands … despite CFDA certification becoming more difficult and costly. Franck Gauthier from the company FSSB explained why not only manufacturers of Western high-tech but also of seemingly easily copiable medtech can be tremendously successful in China: they make suture needles which provide the optimum regarding bending/flexibility and robustness at the same time. Top-tier Chinese hospitals want that technology for the European/German quality momentum which they also use for their patient marketing.

The kaleidoscope of conferences included sessions by the Ciming Health Checkup Group on health insurance. According to Dr. Han Xiaohong, the conference brought together 200+ actors in health insurance to discuss new options and business models which also enable non-Chinese stakeholders to participate in the Chinese market. Challenges and potential business models / future-driven strategies for payors were described by William Brocklehurst, Head of Corporate Affairs, International Development Markets for the international healthcare group BUPA.

These are some statements from CMEF Shenzhen delegates:

Toby Hu from EMP Emperor said that, like the other exhibitors, they came to CMEF to demonstrate their latest advance in technology. Their imaging devices sell well in China and abroad.

Globus presented a machine for rehabilitation and for training of sports professionals. Sophisticated software stimulating nerves takes the benefits beyond the usual machines in the market, outlined Francesco Maresca from the Italian company and his Chinese distributor. They see great potentials for the product which needs to comes at a rather high price.

Jyton’s Keith Qiu on changes regarding CFDA regulation explained: stricter rules, stricter auditing, additional fees – they are same for international as domestic manufacturers. Vendors should find credible partners to achieve accreditation, companies should name a person for smooth communication.

Maxhealth CEO Fengdong Miao distributes a UK-made robot for rehabilitation – this being the “the way to go” in an ageing Chinese society with scarce staff to support rehab patients and the elderly. According to Fengdong, the Chinese government has a comprehensive support strategy for the Chinese robotics industry including health. – Japanese, US manufacturers are coming to China; German etc. manufacturers should present their robotic solutions more openly if they want to be part of that market with its huge potential, said Fengdong.

MedCaptain’s Jürgen Reimer runs the Dutch / European office. They offer innovative routine-safe infusion pump technology which is being embraced by European buyers. Check out tech details to identify the really good and innovative products among Chinese export portfolio is Reimer’s advice to buyers. He has a very positive outlook on European and further markets for the company.

German/European Notified Body Medcert / Klaus-Dieter Ziel outlined current challenges in the ever changing requirements for CE marking. Big name companies are currently securing capacity from expert engineers for medtech regulatory compliance to be future-safe in this dynamic field, making it difficult for SMEs and even Notified Bodies as well as regulation authorities to find staff. For the first time, Medcert held a workshop with consulting partners at CMEF Shenzhen to update them on regulatory changes.

Lars Feng from Mindray outlined the concept of their “Mr. Wearable”: ECG and further vital data are communicated from wearables to the EMR via Bluetooth/smartphone. Beyond therapy monitoring, they also offer a version for wellness. The on-body device demonstrated in Shenzhen is a symbol for the major future trend for Mindray besides further evolving hospital tech environment.

Sino Vision was no exhibitor as yet; they have a CT product portfolio and plan to go international … not only with products but also with competence to help implement CT production in further (emerging and developed) countries who aim at domestic medtech manufacturing. Sino Vision is driven by Jack Guo, formerly Neusoft, William Zhao, and their CEOs/colleagues. The promising idea is – leading staff who worked for international companies in China are active for domestic companies and will position them well in the market regarding technology and branding.

United Imaging explained the major role of CMEF in their successful international marketing strategy.

All the information any stakeholder in the dynamic healthcare market will need is again available at CMEF, part of the Health Industry Summit tHIS, 15–18 May 2017 in Shanghai.

by Michael Reiter

CMEF returned to its “home” Shenzhen in autumn 2016. Stay tuned for the next update on all that’s happening in healthcare in China and beyond – at the Health Industry Summit tHIS, 15–18 May 2017 in Shanghai.

Medtech from and for China – and beyond

Autumn Edition of Tradeshow CMEF comes to Shenzhen

This long-standing tradeshow has been successful in attracting hospital buyers from China, Asia, and indeed worldwide for decades: every spring, the semi-annual China International Equipment Fair CMEF forms part of the mega-scale Health Industry Summit (tHIS) in Shanghai, and in autumn it moves around between major cities in the country. The 76th edition of CMEF returns to its original home base Shenzhen, across from Hong Kong, from 29 October until 1 November

Bringing thought leaders, care providers, and the medtech industry together: the successful international community event CMEF (photographs from CMEF Spring / tHIS in Shanghai 2016: Michael Reiter)

The attractiveness of CMEF is a result of the large portfolio of domestic and international exhibitors as well as country pavilions, presentations and workshops from leading societies, regulatory bodies, and economic development agencies. In addition to its extensive exhibit of equipment available in the market, CMEF is the place to be for launches of new products.

Statements from selected Chinese manufacturers and association representatives on domestic and foreign markets ((plus photographs)):

  • Alex Feng, Kangda International: “Founded in 1995, Kangda focuses on a portfolio of imaging products and equipment for dental practices. We also act very successfully as a distributor of foreign products within China. – While the company has no presence in Europe yet, globalizing our activities is an essential part of our strategy … with emerging countries in Asia and South America as priorities. Our products compete with high quality at lower price. – We have a list of products to be EC-approved, and we are confident that we can achieve certification without much effort. C-FDA certification is more difficult. In our domestic market, there are government incentives for the purchase of local brands; for the top category of hospitals, level III, 50 percent of equipment purchases should go to local brands; for level II hospitals, 65–70 percent, and for level I hospitals in rural areas and communities, 100 per cent.”
  • Wang Wei, Jusha: “Years ago, I left GE to create Jusha. Our company manufactures products in, e.g., imaging, infection, display solutions, and a digital hybrid operating room. If we take patient monitors as an example, we have been developing very fast in that market. This includes sales to Europe; the large care provider in Nottingham / UK uses our monitors, and we have sold products to Poland, Romania, and Turkey. Our international business comprises 34 countries, including the U.S. – Just like other Chinese companies and joint ventures, we benefit from subsidies the government grants for R&D activities to foster progress and take technology up to international levels. We have secured a three-digit number of patents, and we have been obtaining CE marking for products.”
  • Jerry Liu, Yuwell: “Looking at Europe, Russia is currently our main country for sales; we have also been distributing products to Poland, the UK, and Germany. For foreign markets, our product focus includes oxygen concentrators, blood pressure monitors, and high to medium level wheelchairs with special features such as footlifts. Regarding oxygen concentrators, we sell dedicated hospital products to hospitals as well as homecare products through the channel. – Sales are increasing continuously, with the proportion of foreign sales on the rise thanks to the positive cost-performance ratio of Chinese products. There is one major trend that we see in the market: sales through the Internet have been going up significantly. eBusiness volume doubles every year. – As a public company, we receive government funds for our expansion and brand visibility. With our research centers located in China, Taiwan, and the U.S., we are very well positioned for future demand. We operate end-customer showrooms and shops in many Asian countries now, and plan to set up shops also in Europe, e. g. in Germany … possibly even with production there in the future. In that country, we are also setting up a subsidiary.”
  • Zhao Yong, Shinva: “Our company was established in 1943 and today offers a broad portfolio. We manufacture medical equipment such as linear accelerators, therapy devices, and disinfection with a large share of the domestic market; we also offer pharma equipment and medical services in more than 40 specialist hospitals. Current technology trends in washers/disinfection devices include negative pressure washers. – We have found it rather difficult to obtain the CE mark for medical equipment; in comparison with the open Chinese market, Europe appears rather closed. With regard to sales activities there, we currently look into Eastern Europe; in Africa, Australia, and further regions we see good opportunities. We are looking for an acquisition in the area of autoclaves in Europe – in a corporate market with high prices paid for companies.”
  • David Yin, Mindray: “For us, activities in Europe have been very successful. We have been penetrating top hospitals, including university hospitals. High-end products include a new patient monitor which allows for viewing horizontally and vertically. Another new feature we offer in this product sector is to let units follow the patient: they can be taken out of the devices. Selected patient monitors can now also be used to display the hospital information system and Internet content on the screen; this way, the monitor turns into a comprehensive information system. Our customers Leuven University Hospital in Belgium and Hoofddorp hospital in the Netherlands are among customers who have opted for this feature. – In China, the government aims at promoting local brands; that helps broaden the choice for buyers. Tradeshows such as CMEF serve as a suitable platform to communicate key messages into the hospital community, such as innovation as a key to the future. – Regarding healthcare trends in China, there is continuous growing thanks to demography and out-of-pocket pay; the relaxing of the one-child-policy will contribute to innovation in care. This domestic market, however, has its boundaries, therefore we need to enhance our international activities even more.”
  • Guangcheng Pan, China Pharmaceutical Industry Association: “Our association has been collaborating with the European Pharmaceutical Association on the basis of an MOU. It’s all about exchanging information on medication targets and technologies. Jointly, we organize the annual Sino-European Pharmaceutical Summit; up to now, meetings have taken place in Shanghai and in Berlin. We invite interested stakeholders to participate.”

Upcoming editions of CMEF – mark your calendars

CMEF Autumn show 2016

Shenzhen, 29 October – 1 November

CMEF as part of the 3rd Health Industry Summit (tHIS)

Shanghai, 17–20 April 2017

by Michael Reiter

Recent CMEF / Part of tHIS, spring 2016 – facts and figures
  • 3,800 exhibitors from 20 countries
  • 200,000 square meters
  • 10,000 products and solutions
  • 600 product launches