Xian-En Zhang, PhD
Director General Basic Research Department,
Ministry of Science & Technology, China
Medical Technology may have broad sense, including medical devices, therapy technology and medication. This report provides an overview on the development of medical devices in China. Medical device industry is a typical innovation-driven, interdisciplinary and global competitive emerging strategic industry. Currently, United States, West Europe and Japan account for over 84% of global medical device market share, while China accounts for only 3% with low-end products. China's 1.37 billion people as well as more than 300 thousand medical and health institutions make China the world's third largest medical device market after US and Europe. The annual growth rate has been more than 20% in recent years. The goal of building a moderately prosperous society and the reform of the medical and health system further secure this fast growth. By the end of 2015, total demand of medical devices in China is expected to reach 50 Billion RMB (about 1% of GDP). "Early health" philosophy is changing the patterns of medical development. This will give a strong push in developing a series of sophisticated-techniques medical devices, such as new imaging technology, non-invasive diagnosis, neural and brain signal detection analysis, interventional therapy, new medical sensors/biosensors/biochips, personal genomics/proteomics and other core technologies. Strengthening the primary medical care system is one of the priorities of the medical system reform. Rural and community health care as well as family care require a huge amount of medical equipment, which should have features of high performance, low cost, intelligence, portability and easiness of operation. Multi-functional and mobile medical platforms are also important especially for rural and field work people. Such demands are giving the researchers opportunities and challenges. Standardization of diagnosis and treatment of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) create opportunities for the development of modern TCM apparatus, comprising high-precision pulse meter, tongue imaging, new acupuncture treatment instrument, and so on. Real success of these devices will depend on a wide range of clinical investigation. Data banks of pathological/physical signs are also to be built. To achieve the goal mentioned above will largely rely on the development of multi-/interdisciplinary, particularly nano technology, photonics and microelectronics, new and biocompatible materials, high precision imaging technology, network technology, remote medicine technology, genome sequencing and bioinformatics, etc.
Dr. Xian-En Zhang received his first degree in Hubei University in 1982, MPhil. (microbiology) and Ph.D. (biochemistry) later in the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). He became a full professor in Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS in 1993. He is specializing in analytical biotechnology (particularly recombinant biosensors) with 160 peer-reviewed papers and three books on biosensors and biochips. He serves as a vise chair of the Chinese Society for Microbiology, a vice chair of Biophysical Society of China, editorial member of a few international scientific journals (such as Biosensors & Bioelectronics, Biocatalysis & Biotransformation), and guest professor in a number of universities. Since 2002, Dr. Zhang has been serving as director general of Basic Research Department, China Ministry of Science and Technology, where he mainly involves in policy study and national planning for science development, and implantation of national major basic research program and the State Key Laboratories. He is the author or coauthor of many science and technology development reports, including the book "The role of science and technology in building the powers".