Medical technology – pillar of healthcare and economy

More than 500,000 products – from plasters to surgical robots – are part of everyday life in hospitals, medical practices and in nursing. There is barely a patient who does not benefit in some kind of way from the diversity. The benefits of medical technology affect all major players in the healthcare sector. It supports the work of medical service providers and gives a major boost to an innovation-driven Swiss economy. 

Medical technology is the basis for first-class medical care. It saves lives, helps with healthy recovery and keeps us healthy. Its products and techniques improve the quality of life of patients, people with disabilities and the elderly. Medical technology innovations to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and declining physical functions support an active and self-determined life.

Medical technology facilitates the work of nursing staff, but also of carers from the private sphere. All of them receive support and relief in their commitment to those in need of care and disabled people through needs-oriented aids, and they can make a particularly effective contribution to rehabilitation and a return to everyday life. 

Medical technology enables doctors, as well as nursing staff and other healthcare providers to make optimum decisions for the benefit of their patients and customers. It also enables them to implement their medical skills even more effectively and reliably. Medical technology devices relieve them of routine tasks, creating time for patient-centred work.

Medical technology is a future-oriented industry with strategic significance for a strong Swiss economy. Competitive companies secure qualified jobs in our country. Through exports of goods, the industry accounts for 13.5% of Switzerland's positive trade balance, thus ensuring the prosperity of its inhabitants. Medical technology companies make an important contribution to maintaining the manufacturing industry in Switzerland.

Medical technology supports cost-efficient healthcare, for example, by reducing recovery times, minimising complications from medical interventions and promoting the maintenance or recovery of the ability to work. Medical technology accounts for 5% of Swiss healthcare expenditure.

It is an innovative driving force, benefitting the healthcare sector and the entire society. 3D and robot technologies, e-health and automation solutions, telemedical procedures, as well as machine learning with the inclusion of big data are used. Medtech products typically have an innovation cycle of just 18 to 36 months. 

Medical technology strengthens Switzerland's position as a centre of research in its priority area of medicine. Thanks to close cooperation between companies and research institutes, which can traditionally rely on regional micro-clusters, Swiss medical technology has the most European patent applications per capita. This number has significantly increased between 2006 and 2017.