Every day, medical devices are used to help patients’ lives in Canada and around the world. They can improve the accuracy of diagnoses and provision of better medical care as well as enhance treatment and reduce long-term disabilities.

In Canada, the medical device industry represents a vital sector of the healthcare industry and it is known for innovative solutions and advanced technology. In addition to being a significant market for medical devices, Canada is also a hub for research, development, and manufacturing of cutting-edge medical devices.

In this article, we examine the statistics of the medical devices sector in Canada including market size, key segments, and future trends.

Medical Device Industry Statistics for Canadians

  • Canada has the eighth-largest market for medical devices.
  • Canada’s medical device market accounts for just over 2% of the global market.
  • Almost half of Canada’s medical industry is based in Ontario.
  • Diagnostic imaging devices represented 14.4% of the total Canadian medical devices revenue in 2022.
  • The United States has the largest medical devices market in the world, representing over 50% of the global market.
  • Canada imports almost three times as many medical devices as it exports.
  • Over 70% of the revenue in Canada comes from small and medium-sized companies.
  • The Canadian medical device industry employs over 35,000 people.
  • As the percentage of elderly people increases, the demand for medical devices will increase, too.
  • The telehealth sub-sector is growing at 35% per year.

Definition of Medical Devices in Canada

A medical device, as defined by the Food and Drugs Act of Health Canada, is any instrument, article, apparatus, or contrivance that is represented, manufactured, or sold for use in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of diseases, disorders, or abnormal physical state in humans or animals.

The definition also includes devices used for correcting, restoring, or modifying the structure or functions of the body, and devices used to diagnose pregnancies and care for humans or animals during pregnancy.

Examples of medical devices include artificial heart valves, pacemakers, imaging equipment, diagnostic equipment, dialysis equipment, in vitro diagnostics, hip and knee implants, surgical tools, and life support machines among many other devices.

Medical Device Industry in Canada

Canada has one of the largest medical technology markets in the world. With a market valued at nearly USD$10billion in 2022, it is the eighth-largest medical technology worldwide. There are over 1,500 medical technology companies operating in Canada, with the majority of them located in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

Companies in the medical devices sector in Canada are technology, research, and development intensive and most of them are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The main purchasers of Canadian medical devices include physicians’ offices, Canadian and international hospitals, laboratories, clinics, and in some instances patients.

Technological advances and the inclusion of multiple technologies in many medical devices mean they are becoming increasingly complex and technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, microelectronics, and big data analytics are now routinely featured in medical devices. Canadian companies in the medical technology sector are actively involved in the innovation of new products and enhancing the features of existing products.

Almost 50% of Medical Devices Companies Are in Ontario

Much of Canada’s medical device industry is concentrated in two provinces: Ontario and Quebec. According to the Government of Canada, 46.8% of the medical device companies are based in Ontario. 22.3% of the companies are in Quebec.

The two provinces also account for most of the healthcare industry in Canada. 29.% of Canada’s hospitals are located in Ontario and 17.7% are located in Quebec. These hospitals, together with medical professionals such as eye-care specialists, dentists, and other professionals in residential care facilities and nursing homes make up a significant portion of medical device buyers in Canada. Demand for medical devices is also growing in private clinics and outpatient facilities.

Medical Devices Market Size in Canada

In 2022, with a market size of US$9.47 billion (not including in vitro diagnostics), Canada accounted for approximately 2.3% of the global medical devices market. The medical devices revenue is expected to reach US$11.02 billion by the end of 2024.

Canadian medical device revenue is expected to have a 6.36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2024 and 2028. This would mean a market volume of US$14.11 billion in 2028. It would also mean that the revenue would have more than doubled in twelve years compared to US$6.65 in 2016.

Key Segments of the Canadian Medical Device Industry

The key segments of the market in 2022 were diagnostic imaging at 14.4%, consumables at 18.3%, patient aids at 17.1%, orthopaedic and prosthetic devices at 11%, and dental products at 9.2%. The remaining 30% includes smaller segments of various medical devices such as dialysis apparatus, ophthalmic instruments, blood pressure monitors, and wheelchairs.

In 2023, cardiology devices generated US$1.4 billion of the total revenue, making it the largest device type in terms of revenue. Below are revenues from the different types of devices in 2023.

  • Cardiology US$1.4 billion
  • Diagnostic Imaging US$1.05 billion
  • Orthopaedic US$0.90 billion
  • Dental Devices US$0.85 billion
  • Ophthalmic US$0.78 billion
  • Diabetes Care US$0.56 billion
  • Endoscopic US$0.56 billion
  • General and Plastic Surgery US$0.54 billion
  • Other US$3.56

Global Medical Devices Market Size

The global market was valued at US$485.3 billion in 2022 (again not including in vitro diagnostics). It is estimated that the global medical devices market value will reach US$659.9 by 2027 with a CAGR of 6.3%.

The US is the largest medical device market globally with a market valued at US$182 billion in 2024, representing 54.2% of the global market. It is also the leading supplier of medical technology. The biggest segments of the global market were diagnostic imaging at 25%, orthopaedic products at 12.8%, patient aids at 12.2%, consumables at 11%, and dental products at 8.1%. The remaining 30.9% represents a range of other devices.

Medical Device Imports and Exports

Canada imports almost three times as much as it exports. The value of exports was CA$5.1 billion in 2022 while the value of imports was CA$13.3 billion. The trade gap in 2022 was CA$8.2 billion, CA$3.2 billion more than it was in 2017. The US is Canada’s largest trading partner.

In 2022, imports to the US represented 38% of the total medical imports and were valued at CA$5.2 billion. China was the second biggest market at 17% of the share, followed by Mexico with 7% and Germany with 5%.

The value of medical device exports to the US was CA$3.08 billion in 2022, representing 74% of the total medical device exports. The US was followed by Germany with 3%, the United Kingdom with 2%, and Belgium also with 2%.

No Single Company Dominates the Medical Devices Market in Canada

Unlike some other sectors of the healthcare industry where the market is dominated by large, mostly global companies, the medical devices market has no single company that has a significant share of the market in Canada.

According to Statista, in December 2023, 72% of the market revenue was generated by SMEs which each represent less than 2% of the total revenue. The two largest companies based on the share of the revenue were Medtronic and Siemens Healthineers with 5% each. Abbot Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, and Zimmer Biomet each had a 4% share, while Canon, Danaher, and Philips Healthcare had a 2% share of the revenue.

Employment in The Medical Device Industry

The medical device industry in Canada employs over 35,000 people who have expertise in multiple fields, which include biomedical engineering, life sciences, biological sciences, information technology, manufacturing, and nursing among others.

Most of the medical device industry jobs in Canada are located in three provinces: Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia where the majority of the companies are located. The expectations on education and potential salaries vary depending on the role and experience.

Aging Population Will Support the Growth of the Medical Device Industry in Canada

A shift in the population demographics will play a key role in the medical device industry’s growth. Globally, it is predicted that the percentage of elderly people will be up to 17.8% of the population by 2060, which is a significantly higher percentage compared to 8.3% in 2015. This shift will continue to increase the demand for new medical technologies and medical devices.

Advanced Technologies and Medical Devices in Canada

The telehealth sector is an extremely fast-growing sector of the medical device industry. It was already growing steadily before the COVID-19 pandemic but with the pandemic highlighting the need for telehealth technologies, the sector is currently experiencing 35% yearly growth. One of the challenges of the telehealth sector is the lack of compatibility across all the provinces and territories.

Another subsector that is experiencing significant growth is the digital medicine sector which utilises advanced technologies and artificial intelligence. The digital medicine sub-sector includes the production of devices that combine software and hardware to measure, diagnose, and intervene in medical ailments. It targets three areas of healthcare: creating a data flow to give faster results, producing algorithms that can run large samples of data, and examining genome sequencing.

Health Spending Per Person in Canada

The per-person health spending, including medical devices, ranges from just over $8,000 to over $20,000 depending on the province or territory. In 2022, the health spending per person was $8,563 nationally, which was 0.3% less than in 2021. The per-person spending was lowest in New Brunswick and highest in Nunavut, closely followed by the Northwest Territories.

Below is a list of health spending in Canada in 2022 from the Government of Canada. The changes in brackets are the year-on-year changes from 2021.

  • Alberta $8,545 (Decrease of 3.5%)
  • British Columbia $8,790 (Increase of 2.4%)
  • Manitoba $8,417 (Decrease of 1.0%)
  • New Brunswick $8,010 (Increase of 0.9%)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador $9,894 (Increase of 1.5%)
  • Northwest Territories $21,946 (Decrease of 2.3%)
  • Nunavut $21,978 (Decrease of 8.3%)
  • Nova Scotia $9,536 (Increase of 5.0%)
  • Ontario $8,213 (Increase of 0.3%)
  • Prince Edward Island $8,531 (Increase of 2.3%)
  • Québec $8,701 (Decrease of 1.8%)
  • Saskatchewan $8,954 (No change)
  • Yukon $15,884 (Increase of 1.2%)

Federal Funding and Tax Incentives

The Canadian government supports health-related research in Canada through federally funded research and councils: the National Research Council (NRC); the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); and the Networks of Centres of Excellence. The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) delivered by the NRC helps companies to develop and commercialise their technologies by offering them funding and advisory services.

Canada also has a tax incentive programme: the Canadian Scientific Research and Experimental Development, which is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency and encourages Canadian companies of all sizes to conduct research and development in Canada. It provides tax credits and/or cash refunds on eligible research and development expenditures done in Canada.

Conclusion

Canada’s medical device industry is made up of over 1,500 companies that are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. While there is medical device industry activity across most of Canada, much of it is concentrated in Ontario and Quebec.

The Canadian medical industry is projected to grow in the future. One of the key drivers for the industry’s growth is the aging population with the percentage of elderly people projected to reach close to 20% by 2060. Because the industry is expected to grow this will increase the number of jobs, making the medical industry a good industry to get into.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Canada does have companies that design and manufacture medical devices. There are around 1,500 companies most of which are located in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Most of the companies do not focus solely on medical devices and are small and medium-sized. 

The value of the medical devices market is expected to reach US$11.02 by the end of 2024. Canada has the eight biggest market for medical devices in the world and represents 2.3% of the global market.

There is a wide range of jobs you can find in the medical device industry. Some of the jobs within the industry include quality control inspectors, manufacturing engineers, research and development engineers, field engineers, and sales representatives.

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