Region/Countries: Canada, North America Industry: Biosciences / Medical Devices Date: November 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies

Canada offers a highly diversified, export-oriented medical device industry that manufactures equipment and supplies based on research and technology development. This market is estimated at just over $8 billion, with imports at approximately $6.7 billion and exports at $1.4 billion. Canada’s largest trading partner for medical devices is the U.S., and in 2015, medical device imports from the U.S. were estimated at just over $3 billion, representing 45 percent of Canada’s total medical device imports. Imports from Wisconsin were just over $48 million. The Canadian medical device market depends upon imports for about 80 percent of its consumption.

Medical technology companies are located across Canada, with the highest concentration in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. The industry comprises small-, medium- and large-sized facilities, with the bulk of the industry represented by small and mid-sized companies. There are 1,500 firms employing 35,000 people.

Medical devices encompass a wide range of medical, surgical and dental instruments and products to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and other physical ailments. Purchasers of medical devices include Canadian and international hospitals, physicians’ offices, laboratories and clinics, as well as patients themselves through direct purchases. Key business segments of sales in Canada were diagnostic equipment (25.8 percent), consumables (15.3 percent), patient aids (12.3 percent), orthopedics and prosthetics (11.9 percent) and dental products (6.9 percent). These medical devices play an important role in the health and well-being of patients by helping to prevent, diagnose and treat disease; to reduce pain and suffering; and to extend and save lives.

Demand for medical devices is expected to increase by at least 3 percent per year, and demographic trends suggest that Canada’s elderly population continues to grow: an 18 percent of the population is 65 and over, as of 2016. Medical devices are also increasing in number and complexity due to ever-changing technological advances. An aging population, developments in science and engineering, and changes in care delivery are expected to contribute to the sector’s future growth, presenting a key market opportunity for Wisconsin companies.