Medical technology saves and improves lives by detecting diseases earlier and by providing more effective treatment options for patients and the healthcare system.
The Australian medical technology industry, which includes medical devices, diagnostics and medical imaging equipment, comprises a diversity of manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology from emerging Australian companies to global companies.
The product range is equally diverse and includes disease screening technologies, therapies, equipment and supplies - everything from complex capital equipment (such as x-ray machines and MRI scanners) to relatively simple items (such as bandages and syringes) and highly evolved technologies (such as implantable devices).
The industry is also characterised by a high level of innovation, resulting in short life cycles for many products. Many medical devices undergo constant development based on feedback from medical practitioners and advances in other sciences relevant to medical technology.
Small Australian firms often play the major role in research and development of new medical devices, with large firms providing organisational and capital assets that help ensure new products' commercial success.
There are a range of business types that make up the medical technology industry.
1. Exporter of medical technology
A company that exports medical technology that is either manufactured in Australia, or manufactured overseas, imported to Australia, then exported.
2. Importer of medical technology as subsidiary of multinational company
An importer of medical technology where the Australian company is a subsidiary of the same multinational company. Usually, most of the products sold will be from the parent company.
3. Third party independent importer of medical technology
An importer of medical technology that is not a subsidiary of a multinational company and is usually Australian owned. Often, the products sold will come from several different suppliers.
4. Manufacturer of medical technology in Australia
A manufacturer of medical technology in Australia can be either an Australian owned company or a subsidiary of a multinational company.
5. Supplier of medical technology manufactured in Australia
A manufacturer of medical technology in Australia (as described above), who also supplies their products to Australia. This differentiates from companies that manufacture for export only.
6. Research & Development conducted primarily in Australia
Research and development (R&D) is conducted primarily in Australia. Some R&D may take place overseas, but the majority takes place in Australia.