Indiana moves up in med tech rankings

Indiana has the seventh-largest cluster of medical technology firms in the United States, according to a new analysis by the Lewin Group.

The industry employed 19,950 Hoosiers in 2007 and supported another 35,000 jobs in supplier companies, according to Lewin’s analysis, which was funded by AdvaMed, a Washington, D.C.-based industry trade group.

California has by far the largest medical technology industry, with 84,000 employed. The industry as a whole employs 423,000, paying wages 40-percent higher than the national average.

Medical technology includes surgical and medical tools and implants, equipment for blood and dental labs, and similar products. In Indiana, the industry includes such firms as Bloomington-based Cook Inc., Batesville-based Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., Warsaw-based Zimmer Holdings Inc. and Switzerland-based Roche Diagnostics, which has its North American headquarters in Indianapolis.

Compared with a 2005 study by the Virginia-based Lewin Group, Indiana’s medical technology employment grew 28 percent from 2005 to 2007, helping Indiana gain one spot by moving ahead of New York in medical technology employment.

Hoosiers also are the most productive among peers in major medical technology states. Indiana workers churned out $6.9 billion in shipments in 2007, or 5 percent of the $136 billion total nationwide.

California led the way with $26.3 billion in total shipments, followed by Massachusetts with $8.3 billion.

Medical technology faces an uncertain future, with the new health law promising to assess $2 billion a year on the industry, divvied up by amount of sales. Companies with consumer-focused or physician-focused products, such as Roche Diagnostics’ blood glucose monitors, will likely benefit from the 32 million new insured customers the law is predicted to create.

But medical products makers selling to hospitals—which already were required by law to treat uninsured patients—are unlikely to see a significant boost in sales.

Still, aging baby boomers are sure to keep demand for medical technology products growing for many years to come.

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