Health technology under change
One general feature in the health technology market has been the recent consolidation of this sector; large multi-national enterprises have bought small, mainly local enterprises and thus grown even larger. Nowadays the R&D activity of large companies has been reduced or outsourced to innovative small companies. At the same time, market channels have concentrated on the large companies, leaving to small competitors even less good partners to market their products. All this has decreased small companies' opportunities to penetrate new markets. Simultaneously, demands concerning products have been tightened as they must comply with national directives. Without convincing scientific proof, it is very difficult to access markets. Networks of scientific research and product development conducted between research institutes and enterprises have become almost a pre-requisite for accessing markets. A great deal of work has to be done in the harmonization of product registration between different market areas. The har
monization of the authorization procedure in the EU and U.S.A. may represent the key to a global harmonization procedure since these regions represent the majority of the market.
The tightening of competition and growth of demands have also meant that the cash flow financing is seldom sufficient to cover the costs for gaining access to international markets. In that case, enterprises have to be able to attract investors at a very early stage in order to secure the adequate capital. The "Grow or die" strategy has become the trend in this field. Innovative products must have access to large main markets to ensure the necessary income stream.
Change in supply of social and health services brings new markets
The unfavourable age structure in the Western countries means that the social and health services are now in the situation in where the existing resources do not meet the needs. In order to solve this problem, the introduction of new service models and innovative products is probably the only way to balance supply and demand. This can create new markets for companies working in this field. At present social and health care can be regarded as a field where there is the most resistance to change. However, when the stress on this sector continues to increase also this sector is predicted to open to free competition.