Medical Technology – often simply referred to as Medtech – is a field specialising in the innovation, design and production of technologies that facilitate healthcare.
Any company involved in the provision of equipment that diagnoses and treats a patient can loosely be categorised under the ‘Medtech’ umbrella.
The focus is on connecting the dots between technology and healthcare to achieve faster, more efficient diagnoses, and improved medical outcomes.
Medical devices can range from electric wheelchairs, inhalers and hearing aids, to more sophisticated technologies, like MRI scan machines, CT scanners and laser machines.
Some other common examples of modern Medtech innovations include: catheters, stethoscopes, dentures, 3D printers, laser surgery, artificial organs, stents and pacemakers.
During the pandemic, Medtech has been particularly useful in introducing the telehealth model, which allows users to access medical services remotely.
What’s happening in medtech in Australia?
In 2013-14, Australia invested $5.5 billion in health and medicine research.
This clearly paid off, as Australia is now poised to become a world-leader in medtech.
With strong resources and highly skilled workers in areas like digital health and genomic medicine, the medtech sector in Australia is currently worth over $6.1 billion and employs over 36,000 people.
Many Australian medtech companies are typically young and small due to the relative newness of the industry. But due to the enormous growth potential fuelled by an increasing demand for competitive healthcare services and products, investors are increasingly looking to Medtech small-caps as attractive investment opportunities.
Is it a good time to invest in ASX medtech stocks?
The global medical device and diagnostic industry is valued at over $100 billion.
And thanks to the increasing prosperity in developed countries, longer life expectancy rates and a renewed focus on improving quality of life, this industry is set to grow rapidly.
Everyday, new discoveries in science and engineering research are fuelling this growth.
But not all Medtech companies are guaranteed to be successful. As with any growing industry, some will rise, while others may not be able to keep up with international competition.
A successful Medtech investment will necessitate a keen understanding of the company, its niche, its financials and other influential factors.