Innovation pillars 2011: Past and emerging

The ability of an economy to support medical technology innovation is directly related to the presence of five key pillars of innovation. These pillars create a foundation for the development of social, technical, political and economic forces that come together to create an ecosystem which fosters the growth of medical technology. For a deeper understanding of both the current and new medical technology innovation pillars, click on the headings below.

The five pillars of medical technology innovation


Please select one of the five pillars of medical technology innovation at the left

$350 billion

the size of the global device industry

Market incentives

Healthcare incentives

The US spent more per capita on healthcare than the other eight Scorecard countries.

High levels of reimbursement for medical procedures and generous coverage fuelled physician adoption of new innovations. All countries reviewed in the Scorecard expect to continue to see significant growth per capita and total healthcare costs over the next decade.

$2.5 trillion

Amount US spent on healthcare in 2009

Innovative resources

Innovative output

The US established itself as a world leader in academic medical centers.

Annual NIH grant funding exceeding $25billion per year supported the advancement of medicine.

China ranks second among the nine countries in number of research professionals, but it has not been as productive in obtaining medical technology patents.

$350 billion

global medial device sales

Regulatory approval process

Legal environment

The FDA has been a global leader in setting standards and guidelines for the safety and efficacy of medical technologies.

Other countries would often wait to see FDA's position before acting upon medical technology applications.

Citizens of countries with more efficient and less uncertain regulatory approval processes will gain earlier access to innovative medical technology, and providers in those countries will benefit from more experience using new devices.


Six months vs three months

average time to approve a product in the US vs Europe

Healthcare demand

Needs and Infrastructure

Americans seemed to have a higher demand for healthcare services as measured by their frequency of doctor visits.

During the past 50 years, the proportion of healthcare costs paid by US patients has declined from 47% to 12%.

PwC expects the US score for this pillar will drop, while scores for China, India and Brazil will rise.


US rank for ease of reimbursement

Investment environment

Medical technology commercialization

Medical technologies ranked as the second- or third-largest category among venture capital and angel investors.

US venture capital funding averaged approximately $2.5 billion annually during the last decade, enabling commercialization of innovations from academia and elsewhere.

With the growth of emerging markets, global venture capital firms increasingly will see developing nations as more attractive.

$2.5 billion

average annual funding from US VC community

Five new pillars of innovation


Please select one of the five new pillars of innovation at the left

$350 billion

the size of the global device industry

Mobile-health, value-based purchasing, and personalized medicine will combine to drive more cost-effective, outcome-based initiatives and greater collaboration among payers, providers and the medical technology industry to develop and deliver whole-care, patient-centered solutions


US rank in internet bandwidth (bits/second/person)

The academic leadership that helped enable innovative research in the West is migrating to Asia and South America. Some US and European universities and medical colleges have responded by seeking partnerships abroad to reduce competitive overlap and create synergies.

$25 billion

Annual NIH grant funding

Medical technology companies will continue to move into markets where they can obtain regulatory approval more quickly, generate revenues, and engage patients and providers in the cycle of innovation to advance their products and services.

The FDA and other more restrictive regulators will come under greater pressure to improve and streamline how they review new products.


US rank in researchers per million

Providers, who will be more responsible for health outcomes will look to companies worldwide for technology solutions that offer more integrated, holistic, cost-effective devices combined with wellness and disease management solutions.


Amount the US spent on healthcare in 2009

More US-based venture capitalists will open local offices overseas, partner with counterparts outside the country, seek co-investment opportunities and identify target investee companies abroad. Beyond private funding, some nations have adopted innovation strategies.

$2.5 billion

average annual funding from US VC community

System-oriented and value-based incentives

Global networks of academic medical centers

Competing regulatory system

Individualized solutions and price-sensitive customers

Global financial networks

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