Medical Electronics Key growth area for Indian Semiconductor Industry

Semiconductors are an integral part of most medical equipment, starting from high end imaging to small handheld devices. Interestingly, the role of semiconductor components becomes more critical as medical devices become smaller and more portable. Nevertheless, imaging and monitoring systems, digital hearing aids and infusion pumps are the primary drivers of semiconductor use in medical technology. Widely used semiconductor components in medical equipment include microcontrollers, amplifiers, sensors, digital signal processors (DSPs) and application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

Most medical equipment manufacturers in India rely on imported semiconductors. However, it is estimated that in three to four years Indian suppliers will be able to meet indigenous industry demand. Some of the upcoming projects are based in Agartala, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhuvaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Most of this development is made possible with the assistance of the Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA), which promotes policies and initiatives to encourage the domestic manufacture of medical equipment. The ISA is also seeking to fund the research and development of medical equipment adapted to India’s healthcare needs in terms of accessibility, affordability and ease of use.  The association also works towards a holistic approach to promote domestic sourcing of electronic components across various industrial segments.

Recently ISA released a report on opportunities in the Indian medical electronics field. Medtechinsider caught up with Vidya Mulky, PhD, Head – Research at ISA to learn more about this sector.

What is the size of the medical electronics products market?

The domestic market for medical equipments currently stands at US$820 Million (INR 3850 Cr) and is estimated to grow at 17% CAGR over the next five years and reach US$2.075 billion (INR 9735 Cr).

What is the market for semiconductors for medical electronics?

The medical electronics market can be divided into four segments:

  • imaging equipment, which is used largely in secondary and tertiary healthcare, constitutes approximately 57% of the market
  • therapeutic products make up 26% of market share.
  • homecare and handheld equipment accounts for approximately 8% and is largely imported; this has high potential for domestic manufacturers
  • and patient monitoring systems, approximately 9% of the market.

Usage of semiconductors is critical from power supply to display. Semiconductor components such as microcontrollers, amplifiers, sensors, digital signal processors (DSPs) and application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) play an integral role in [a range of] medical equipment from high-end imaging to small handheld devices. As the need for quality, affordable and portable healthcare increases, all four product categories mentioned above will see an increase in semiconductor components and offer a lot of potential.

Who are the main players in this market?

Siemens, Wipro GE and Philips are the leaders in the space with 18%, 17% and 10% market share respectively; however, 45% of the market is occupied by smaller, niche players.

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