The China Market Landscape for Cardiovascular Medical Devices

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a number of disorders of the heart and blood circulation. These disorders include coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. According to WHO, the world’s biggest killer is ischemic heart disease, responsible for 16% of the world’s total deaths. Since 2000, the largest increase in deaths has been for this disease, rising by more than 2 million to 8.9 million deaths in 2019. Stroke is the 2nd leading causes of death, responsible for approximately 11% of overall deaths.

Market Size and Growth Potential

Evaluating the cardiovascular device market, there is strong evidence for continued high market growth in the coming years. In 2020, the global cardiovascular device market size hit over $41 billion and has a projected CAGR of 6.8% for the period of 2021-2026. The Asia-Pacific market is the fastest growing market in the cardiovascular medical device space and in 2019, and particularly, the Chinese cardiovascular device market has a CAGR of about 7.5%. This market growth is primarily due to China’s rising geriatric population. In 2018, China has ~250 million people over 60 years old, and it is expected that by 2050, Asia-Pacific will account for about 2/3 of the worldwide geriatric populations.

The device market is split between surgical device and diagnostic/monitoring devices. The market has been dominated by the diagnostics and monitoring tools segment in recent years and within that market, 40% of the capacity went into Electro Cardiograms (ECG’s).

The preference for diagnostic tools has risen due to data storage capabilities, ease of operation, and compact design. Remote cardiac monitoring devices have been growing rapidly within China, achieving revenues of $287.69 million USD in 2019 and have an expected CAGR of 8.44% for the forecast period of 2019-2024. These devices include wearable devices, portable devices, and implantable cardiac monitors. These devices allow for remote heart monitoring, where a patient’s heart activity can be sent virtually to a physician for review without needing the patient to physically be present.

Major Players and Market Constraints

The major cardiovascular device players are:

  • Abbott Laboratories

  • Boston Scientific

  • Edwards Lifesciences

  • Medtronic PLC

Major Local Players in China include:

  • MicroPort

  • Lepu Medical

Rising technological advancements are being created on the surgical end of the market as well. There has been increased spending on research and development for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) devices, allowing for minimally invasive valve replacement. TAVR is well developed in the United States, but relatively newer in China. Globally, the TAVR market is expected to grow from $3.8 billion to $6 billion in 2021. One of the major producers of this device is Edwards Lifesciences.

The Chinese market is not without restraints. There is a shortage of skilled medical professionals and the ratio of practicing cardiologists to the population is 1.9 per 100,000 according to the report ‘Survey of National Cardiology Workforce in China.’ There is also a high cost of instrument and procedures. Chinese firms tend to charge much less than multination enterprises, but major hospitals in China prefer to purchase foreign tools as they are considered to possess better quality equipment. However, the recent “domestic substitution” policy in China has been encouraging local device companies’ innovations. The reimbursement policy on heart stent also is a sign of government policy shaping the cardiovascular device market in China differently.

Overall, there are tremendous growth potentials in the cardiovascular device market. Considering the expected growth globally, how the Chinese population will be affected by cardiovascular disease, and the rise in remote monitoring, the market has a great deal of room for expansion and new market players.

Author: Chinyere Chambers @Columbia University