Australia has a long and distinguished track record of health and medical research excellence. Today this continues with breakthrough discoveries, advancement of technologies into clinical trials and improvements in clinical practice. Australian medical technologies are making a global impact;solutions such as the cochlear implant(bionic ear) and continuous positive airway pressure(CPAP) devices for sleep apnoea are just two Australian inventions that have transformed the lives of people around the world.
The medical device and diagnostic industry in Australia has developed at a rapid rate, with strong growth in digital health technologies and devices using advanced materials, robotics, imaging, IT, design and adaptive diagnostic technology platforms. The industry is also evolving with the convergence of technology and skills from aligned innovation sectors, such as ICT, medical research and advanced materials.
The health and medical sector in Australia is supported by a robust regulatory and funding system that includes a competitive R&D tax incentive scheme and a world-class healthcare system that creates a highly favourable environment for innovation, investment and collaboration.
Australia’s medical devices industry comprises over 500 companies generating total revenue of A$11.8 billion, exporting over $2.1 billion each year and in 2013-14, employing over 19,000 people.
The Australian medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are distinct but closely related, featuring strong inter-dependencies and a flow of ideals between medical research organizations, traditional and advanced manufacturing and the local healthcare system.
The Australian industry is characterised by a large group of small to medium sized enterprises (estimated at 54 per cent) and a smaller but sizable proportion of global multinational companies or their subsidiaries (about 35 per cent of the sector). These companies are delivering improved patient outcomes and efficiencies in healthcare systems around the world, as nearly all of the medical devices and diagnostics manufactured are exported.
In 2003, the global advanced medical technologies market (medical devices, medical imaging and patient monitoring) was worth US$63.5 billion (18.5 per cent of global market) and Australia’s share was US$6.81 billion (2 per cent).
Australia has 35 medical device and diagnostics companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Total market capitalization of listed medical devices companies had reached A$13 billion by August 2014, and the sector is delivering one of the strongest returns for investors on the ASX.
The majority of Australian companies (54 per cent) have grown from start-ups. Over one-third (35 per cent) of Auatralian companies were established as a subsidiary of a multinational company.
The Australian medical devices and diagnostics industry has pioneered niche products such as 3D customized titanium implants, non-invasive blood glucose monitoring systems, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices for sleep apnoea, long-wearing night and day contact lenses, melanoma detection devices, transdermal insulin delivery devices, and diagnostic technologies for sleep disorders, neurophysiology and cardiology.
This industry is supported by an entrepreneurial and globally-competitive Precision Engineering Industry (PEI), which covers the research, design, development, manufacture and verification of high accuracy components, as well as high precision machines and systems.
The top 10 destinations for Australian medical devices and diagnostics exports were the United States of America; New Zealand; the United Kingdom; Germany; the Netherlands; Japan; China; Singapore; Denmark; and the Republic of Korea.
The following Australia Medical Facility companies are in the world leading level
Admedus is a specialist healthcare company that uses its proprietary ADAPT tissue engineering process to produce implantable bio-scaffolds for various soft tissue repair applications. During the ADAPT tissue engineering process, scientists take a piece of animal pericardium (the heart covering membrane), treat it to remove all RNA, DNA and remnants of animal cells, and are left with a collagen scaffold that functions like human native tissue (the patient’s own tissue), without the issues related to previous tissue implants.
Anatomics was one of the first companies in the world to use medical imaging and 3D printers to manufacture medical devices. Their product range now includes cranial, facial and orthopaedic implants, a product for tissue engineering used in post-mastectomies, surgical, electrosurgical and neuromonitoring tools, as well as the software and hardware surgeons require to design implants.
♦ AtCor Medical
Doctors and medical researchers around the world are using Austrilian made instruments to detect and treat hypertension (high blood pressure) more accurately and effectively than ever before. From its headquarters in Sydney, AtCor Medical manufactures the SphygmoCor range of products, measuring patients’ central blood pressure (the pressure at the heart, not the arm) and arterial stiffness.
♦ Atomo Diagnostics
Hearing solutions provider Cochlear was formed in the 1980s out of a collaboration between Professor Graeme Clark and a medical device group, with support from the Australian Government, to develop and market a commercially available cochlear implant.
♦ Cook medical
ResMed, Cochlear and Cook Medical are the top three patent applicants, and between 2001 and 2012 they contributed almost 20 percent of the total inventions filed in the medical devices and diagnostics field. These applicants are corporations with a focus on research, production and the sale of products in very specialized areas of technology, respiratory (ResMed), hearing (Cochlear) and stents(Cook).
From modest beginnings, Australian company ResMed has grown into a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment for treating, diagnosing, and managing sleep-disordered breathing and other respiratory disorders.
♦ Signos RT
♦ Voyager imaging
As Australia’s pioneering medical imaging company, Voyager Imaging has specialized in radiology software for more than 20 years. Products include teleradiology, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), radiology information systems (RIS), and automated CD/DVD burning and integration services.
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