California is No. 1 in Medical Device Industry

Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Despite complaints about the high costs of doing business, California is unrivaled when it comes to the size of its medical device industry — not to mention the range of innovations. From medtech employment to patent numbers to the amount of venture capital investment, California is well ahead of other states. It accounted for nearly a fourth of the U.S. medical device industry’s revenue in 2017, according to IBISWorld.

Top 10 Medical Device States

  1. California
  2. Minnesota
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Florida
  5. Indiana
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. New York
  8. Texas
  9. Illinois
  10. New Jersey

The Golden State’s medical device industry is actually made up of a number of major hubs running down the length of the state:

Orange County

Orange County exported more than $4 billion worth of life science exports in 2015 alone — about three-fourths involving medical device and diagnostic equipment shipments, according to trade group Biocom. The medtech industry in the county as of 2016 included 23,673 workers, a headcount larger than most U.S. states’ medical device workforces.

The hundreds of firms in the county include Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences, a major player in the cardiovascular devices space, and San Clemente-based ICU Medical, provider of IV-based therapies, systems and services. Johnson & Johnson’s vision surgical business, formerly part of Abbott, is based in Santa Ana.

Besides Biocom, local industry boosters include OCTANe and the Device Alliance.

The Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research is based nearby in Valencia, and Medtronic’s diabetes business is based in the Northridge section of Los Angeles.

North Bay

The North Bay region outside San Francisco is an important medical device manufacturing hub. Two of Medtronic’s business units — Aortic and Peripheral Disease Management and Coronary and Structural Heart Disease Management — are based in Santa Rosa. There is also a host of industry outsourcers in the North Bay, including IDEX Health & Science and Wright Engineered Plastics.

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley includes the dominant player in robotic surgery, Sunnyvale-based Intuitive Surgical. Cancer treatment innovator Varian Medical Systems is headquartered in Palo Alto, and invisible, customized orthodontics maker Align Technology is based in San Jose.

Mobile and digital health remain hot areas for the high-tech industry, with 505 digital health and 620 wearables exhibitors at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas. Cooperation between medical device companies and consumer technology companies, including Apple and Google’s life sciences sister company Verily, is increasing as more products roll out to monitor people’s health and catch problems early.

The region is also home to Carbon, a major 3D printing innovator that is forging partnerships with medical device companies including Johnson & Johnson and BD. In Milpitas, upstart Bigfoot Biomedical has a partnership with Abbott as it seeks to create an improved automated insulin delivery system for diabetes treatment. The Fogarty Institute for medical device innovation is based in Mountain View.

(Discover more about the medical device industry in Northern California at DeviceTalks West in late 2019.)

San Diego

San Diego is home to a number of companies pushing the boundaries when it comes to packaging digital health with medical devices, including Dexcom and its continuous glucose monitoring systems for diabetes management and ResMed and its CPAP equipment for treating sleep-related breathing disorders. Spine technology company NuVasive is also based there.

The medical device industry in San Diego County employed 9,770 people at 211 companies as of 2016, according to Biocom.

Source: Medical Design & Outsourcing

Category: Economic Development, Healthcare