The medical equipment and device manufacturing industry (often referred to as the medtech industry or medical devices industry) designs and manufactures a wide range of medical products that diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases and conditions that affect humans. These products range from inexpensive tools, such as tongue depressors, to complex, multimillion-dollar systems, such as magnetic resonance imaging systems. Other examples include pacemakers, stethoscopes, replacement joints, hip implants, miniature robots that perform complex surgeries, synthetic skin, artificial hearts, scalpels, medical laboratory diagnostic instruments and test kits, patient management software, and software that is used as a component in a medical device.
Medical technology (also known as medtech) is used in hospitals, clinics, the offices of doctors and dentists, medical laboratories, outpatient treatment centers, and any other facility where patients are diagnosed and treated. Medical technology, along with pharmaceuticals and advances in public health (sanitation, safety, etc.), has improved the quality and length of human life. As a result of these developments, average life expectancy in the United States increased from 47 years in 1900 to nearly 79 years in 2020.
Although medical instruments have been used since the beginning of human history, the modern medical equipment manufacturing industry traces its origins to the mid 19th century. At that time the medical profession became more regulated and physicians and other medical professionals sought more consistency and reliability in medical instruments and equipment. Of the thousands of medical device companies in the United States, more than 80 percent of them employ 50 or fewer workers, according to SelectUSA.
Ernst & Young reported that all publicly traded medtech companies are classified as belonging to one of five product groups: imaging technology, non-imaging diagnostics, research and other equi...