Healthcare and Medical Technology

Austria´s sector of medical engineering and lab diagnostics is highly valued abroad. Product innovations, traditional expertise, software development, the drive for innovation and latest research methods round up the image profile in the global market.

The medical engineering sector is expected to resist the crisis in the next years. The subcontracting business has proved a solid sector and research impetus in the healthcare industry (except for physicians). The consumer price index of the healthcare sector is at 108.5 percent and shows an increase of 1.6 percent compared to the previous year (Statistik Austria).

The market leaders of the healthcare and medical engineering industry include dental technicians, laboratories and dental companies (W&H), opticians, hearing aid acousticians (Neuroth AG, Hartlauer Handels GmbH), medical supply stores, hospital and medical surgery supplies and others, bandage-, wound care- and suture material, products for anesthesia, surgery, and orthopedics (Roche, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Covidien and many more). The global players of this industry are Sandoz, Baxter, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, Lilly, Roche, Siemens international, Philips, Synthes, Sanitas and many more. Besides the afore-mentioned segments, the sector includes computer-, software- and electronics industry, diagnostic and regenerative medicine, amongst others by established physicians, private clinics, public hospitals, private plasma centers, blood laboratories and X-ray facilities, insurance carriers and accident insurance providers (Gärtner 2005).

Tremendous investments in hospitals and medical know-how 

According to the main association of social insurance carriers, the Austrian healthcare and social services sector employed a total of 229,092 people in 2010. Currently there are 266 public and private hospitals incl. specific hospitals, sanatoriums, rehab centers, and care facilities in Austria (Statistik Austria). The country counts 21.752 physicians, 53.970 nurses, 1.883 medical engineers, and 18.000 established physicians (Statistik Austria). More than 70 percent of the Austrian popularity have made use of at least one medical service in the recent four weeks. Among these are 81.4 percent of the Austrians who received outpatient care by the OPD “more than 12 months ago or never at all“ (Statistik Austria).

The million euro expansions and new constructions of hospitals enhance Austria´s hospital quality to a considerable extent. The public expenditure in the healthcare sector amount to more than EUR 150 million per year (Statistik Austria). According to this, the medical engineering segment in Austria has been employing over 11,000 people at a turnover rate of EUR 3.1 billion in the recent years; the research ratio accounted for approx. 4.6 percent of the sales generated in this segment (Pharmig, Statistik Austria, Wifo).

Export of medical engineering and healthcare supply on constant rise

The Austrian exports of medical and pharmaceutical products amounted to EUR 5,549 million in 2009 and EUR 6,229 million in 2010. The proportional share amounts to 5.7 percent (Statistik Austria). The export business has been reaping remarkable profits over the past years. In Austria alone, the sales generated with exports amounted to a whopping EUR +2.25 billion (Pharmig Statistik Austria, Wifo). The export figures for medical and pharmaceutical products have been on a constant rise and made up: EUR 46,638 million in 2008, EUR 35,292 million in 2009, and EUR 41,365 million in 2010. This corresponds to an export ratio of 37.8 percent (Statistik Austria). The Austrian export winners rank counts Upper Austria as leading export-, industry, and technology base (WIFO 2010).

Medical engineering enjoys a good reputation in foreign markets 

Austria´s sector of medical engineering resp. telemedicine and lab diagnostics is highly valued in the foreign market. Product innovations, traditional expertise, software development, the drive for innovation and latest research methods round up the image profile in the global market.

Editorial department: Mag. Markus Pellischek-Wilsdorf