Companies in this industry manufacture magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound equipment, pacemakers and other devices, and irradiation apparatus for medical or industrial uses. Major US companies include Hologic, St Jude Medical, Varian Medical Systems, and Zoll Medical, as well as divisions of General Electric and Johnson & Johnson. Outside the US, major companies include Hitachi Healthcare (Japan), Medtronic (Ireland), and Sonova (Switzerland).
Demand is driven by technological advancements, demographics (the aging US population drives the need for medical products), and the needs of the health care industry. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and effective marketing. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in research, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. Smaller companies can compete effectively by developing innovative technologies or specialty products for niche markets, such as cancer therapy apparatus. In the US, both the electromedical and the X-ray apparatus segments are highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 85% and 95% of revenue, respectively.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include MRI, CT, and PET scanners, along with X-ray, mammography, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, and nuclear medicine equipment. Other products are hearing aids, pacemakers, defibrillators, electrocardiographs, and electromedical endoscopic equipment.