Asia Pacific outpaces Americas in fractional HP sales into medical industry

While America leads fractional horsepower (FHP) motors sold in medical applications, the Asia Pacific region, especially China, is closing the gap because of their growing and aging population.


The Americas is the largest market for fractional horsepower (FHP) motors sold into medical applications, representing nearly 38% of all FHP motor sales into the medical sector in 2011. While healthcare expenditure in the US is the highest in the world, most of the growth is from services rather than actual equipment. On the other hand, countries in the Asia Pacific region are investing more in medical devices in part due to their aging population. China, for example, is ramping up their healthcare expenditure quickly, and they are investing heavily in upgrading hospitals and clinics to better serve their growing population.

China is expected to build as many as 8,000 new hospitals by 2015 and a total of 20,000 by 2020. The new hospitals and clinics to be constructed in China will require a large number test and measurement devices and pumps, which will sharply increase demand for FHP motors in the region. Thousands of hospitals are already under construction and FHP motor sales into medical applications in the Asia Pacific region are already outpacing sales in the Americas.

There is some uncertainty about how long the robust growth of FHP motor sales into medical applications in China will last. Medical devices in the Asia Pacific region are typically replaced at a much lower rate than those sold in the US, which has traditionally kept FHP motor sales into the medical sector in the Asia Pacific region lower than sales in the US. However, more and more companies manufacturing medical devices for the US market are moving to China, and China’s investment in healthcare will certainly continue through the end of the decade. While no one really can say with certainty that the medical industry will be the next big area of growth for FHP motor manufacturers in the Asia Pacific region in the long run, the medical industry is poised to be a strong outperforming sector through 2016.

FHP motor sales into the medical sector are also thriving in countries like Singapore and the Philippines where there is double-digit growth in medical tourism and increasing domestic consumption of medical services. While much of the growth in the Asia Pacific region is coming from China, it would be foolish not to consider the positive growth in the rest of the region. At the same time that America is hoping to pull resources away from the medical sector, FHP motor suppliers in the Asia Pacific region stand to benefit from increasing medical expenditure in the region. In the long run, the growth of sales into medical applications in Asia Pacific will depend upon the regions acceptance of new medical technologies. The good news is that there are already signs that would suggest that Asia Pacific countries are beginning to do so. 

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