Israel is a well known scene of the worldwide stage for innovation, currently occupying the 5th place out of the top 60 most innovative countries in the world, according to the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index. A perhaps less known fact is that the Israeli medical device industry has greatly contributed to this success, as one of its most prolific industrial sectors when it comes to innovation. In the growing sector of medical devices, Israel is second only to the United States, totalling about 1,000 companies, with many new ones starting up every year.
This progress has been consistently occurring in Israel, backed by both government as well as private investments. That’s why Israeli innovators have invented many of the world’s revolutionary medical devices available today. These innovative teams power through all the hurdles associated with research & development, bringing these concepts from idea to reality and turning them into functional, user-friendly, novel medical device products.
Following are five facts that truly stand out and paint the picture of the current state of Israel’s medical device industry.
Israel is considered to be amongst the world leaders in the field of medical devices. The total number of granted patents in the area of medical devices positions Israel at the first place in the world in patents per capita, and in the fourth place in terms of an absolute number of patents.
This surge of innovation did not occur in a vacuum, as Israeli medical device companies have access to excellent startup support. Consider that new companies can operate within startup incubators, with as much as 100% of their total budget completely covered for the first 3 years of operation. To be a bit more specific, 85% of their total budget for that period is financed by the Israeli government, while the remaining 15% is funded by the startup incubator. 
The dependence of Israel’s life sciences industry on the medical devices sector is very clear, as they make up about 50% of the industry. As reported by Israel’s IVC Research Center, the medical device sector is attracting the majority of investments made in the life sciences industry, both in terms of amount invested as well as the total number of deals made.
To provide you with an actual number invested in medical devices, we need to take a look at the numbers of the whole digital healthcare companies sector. According to reports published by Israel’s Start-up nation central, a sum of $526.4 million was invested into some 465 digital healthcare companies. A majority of those are medical device companies, as this report includes developing products as biosensors, health wearables, etc in its definition of Israel digital health companies.
When it comes to economic success, Israeli medical device companies have been proven very successful. In the last decade, a relatively short period of time, more than 40 percent of new companies are generating revenue. In 2017 alone, the life science sector exports reached $8.5 billion; a large percentage of which is due to the medical devices industry. Specifically in this field over 600 medical device companies exported devices in a wide gamut of medical field applications such as neurology, cardiovascular, intensive care, orthopedics, wearables, gastrointestinal, ophthalmology, dental care, and aesthetics.
Each year many new startup medical devices companies are created, promising to perpetuate the current growth rate of the field. The long process of developing, receiving regulatory approval, and mass manufacturing of a medical device, means these startup companies are in it for the long run, instead of making a “quick buck”. Moreover, innovation companies with that type of profile and support from the state, attract private investor interest which leads to the additional pulling of funds. This of course results in an even greater economic boost. It should therefore come to no surprise that more than 40% of Israeli medical devices startup companies have matured into revenue generating businesses. This successful course is only forecasted to continue in the future, especially as the Israeli startup & entrepreneurial communities continuously progress.
If you look at the ways companies proceed with innovation today, it’s clear they run the gamut. Depending on the field of application, some dealing with purely digital products only take a direct digital approach. For medical devices companies, however, taking an idea from concept to reality requires the development of real-life products. This means they need traditional brick & mortar infrastructure to research, as well as produce functional, commercialized medical device products.
While this factor adds an additional level of difficulty in the development cycles of medical device companies, Israel has the necessary infrastructure to support such innovation. Quasar is one of Israel’s distinguished medical device product development companies, supporting Israel’s medical device innovation. With many decades of field experience, Quasar is the partner of choice for many Israeli startup companies – as well as worldwide medical device corporations – in bringing innovative concepts from the development phase, to mass manufacturing and on to commercialization.
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