Total market demand in France for medical equipment was estimated at USD 6,148 million in 2008, with imports accounting for USD 3,256 million. Imports from the United States were forecast at USD 993 million, or 30 percent of total imports. This percentage is expected to remain approximately the same over the next three years, with overall demand growing at 1 percent annually.
The best sales prospects for medical equipment include newly developed areas such as non-invasive surgery, orthopedics, and disposable medical equipment. Healthcare professionals are highly optimistic about new technologies such as telemedicine, which is expected to have a major impact on medical care institutions. The recent growth of American medical procedures and techniques in France such as (outpatient) same-day surgery should benefit American medical product manufacturers.
The diagnostic sub-sector represents 35 percent of the total medical equipment market. State-of-the-art diagnostic medical imaging systems are in great demand. Applications for this technology already exist for pediatrics, cardio-vascular care, digestion, urology, and spinal/nerve treatment. As it is well accepted and effective, the demand for this type of technology will continue to grow. Health care professionals are very optimistic about a feature of medical imagery equipment known as "image networking." This will dramatically improve diagnostics by providing an image data bank that would enable a specialist to compare the image of a current case to hundreds of previous cases.
This sub-sector represents 26 percent of the total medical equipment market. It includes all types of disposable medical products. The increasing elderly population reinforces the demand for all kinds of disposable equipment and supplies such as incontinence products and care kits used by nurses and families for home-care.
The surgery instrument and supplies sub-sectors represent approximately 17 percent of the total sector. Recent developments in the non-invasive surgery field could have a strong impact on everyday hospital practice. These latest advances offer superior results and also present a significantly reduced risk to patients.
The French market for medical prosthesis, 8 percent of the total medical equipment market, is characterized by a strong potential for innovative internal prosthesis such as knees, hips, ligaments, and elbows, and with a slightly decreasing market for external prosthesis. Technological evolution, especially in the field of anesthesia, offers the potential for rapid changes in this market.
Intensive care equipment such as respiratory monitoring, pumps and incubators represent about 8 percent of the total medical equipment market. Intensive care equipment includes the latest technological advances. Both public and private hospitals show a rising demand for intensive care equipment and supplies.
The hygiene sub-sector represents approximately 6 percent of the total medical equipment sector. Patient and medical personnel safety is of growing concern to both members of the medical profession and the public. Best sales prospects will certainly focus around assuring stringent personnel safety requirements. This is especially due to the concern regarding AIDS and other contagious diseases. In the future, prevention should receive similar emphasis considering the present focus on protection.
Although the idea of implementing controls on health expenditures is not foreign to developed countries, the expansion of such alternatives has caused a decline in the market for hospital-care equipment. This decline has created a demand for a whole new range of medical equipment that will facilitate fewer and shorter hospital stays. The need for medical home-care and long-stay hospitalization for the increasing elderly population will bring new prospects for the American medical equipment market. Consequently, the demand for medical equipment and products that will assist new French health care controls will continue to increase.