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The horizon of War in relation to medical devices

Two years ago came the crisis in the form of COVID-19 and now, instead of the relaxation and joy of phasing out the measures, comes the fear of an imminent war. A war whose irrationality is a mixture of the First World War and the Russian Civil War. But what does this mean in the short and medium term for the medical devices segment?

  • The COVID-19 disease has not disappeared. Manufacturers of in vitro diagnostic medical devices should invest in preparing for new waves and variants of the disease.

  • We have already fallen under the illusion that we are facing rising energy prices in connection with the so-called Green Deal for Europe. And lo and behold - energy prices will rise even higher and for very different reasons.

  • Medical devices are unlikely to be much affected by the rising prices of selected strategic raw materials, except in some high-tech areas. But the rising cost of transport from Asia and the fragmentation of logistics chains will remain a reality for the immediate future.

  • Demand for consumables from the military will also increase. This will be mainly for simple supplies for acute use, such as bandages in waterproof containers, auto-injectors, first aid bags, infusion sets, beds, etc. It will be necessary to equip the armies of Alliance member states at higher troop levels and to replenish depots for reserve requirements. Demand from integrated rescue and civil defense forces may increase. There is also likely to be a renewal, retrofitting and increase in the number of field hospitals. This may include new mobile operating rooms, imaging technologies, etc.

  • There will be further advances in robotic surgery. The possibility of separating the surgical site from the workplace of a top surgeon is already possible on Intuitive Surgery devices. Complex surgery in a war zone has thus already become a reality.

  • In the context of the fighting in Ukraine, more capacity will be needed in the area of individually manufactured equipment, particularly limb replacements. This point is not a happy one either, but it is a concomitant of any war. Whether progress in bionic prostheses and similar solutions can be expected to accelerate will also depend on the overall economic situation of the target market.

Of course, I wish that some of these expectations had not been fulfilled. It will be great if they do not come true because of the reality of the situation. But so far, everything points in that direction.

Author: Aleš Martinovský


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