Hospitals in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) are seeking medical technology (medtech) companies that act as strategic partners, bringing solutions that improve the quality of care and help optimize operations. Budgets remain constrained in most public APAC hospitals, influencing financial priorities, while private hospitals are predominantly making a profit. Additionally, digitization remains a priority, with online scheduling tools and patient information management tools topping the list of popular solutions.

These insights come from L.E.K.’s annual survey of hospital priorities in APAC, which engaged 420 respondents across China, Japan, and Southeast Asia (SEA). Aimed at better understanding how key strategic priorities and purchasing behaviors are shifting, the study results can help inform medtech companies making forward-looking decisions about engaging stakeholders, tailoring products and services, and leveraging digital channels.

Financial outlook

Public hospitals across APAC are budget-constrained, though most expect a move to budget surplus within the next three years; hospitals in Japan are seeing more budget constraint than in China or SEA. Private hospitals, by contrast, are predominantly profit-making and expect to remain so through 2026. Specialties of focus for hospitals over the next three years vary widely, without clear trends across the region.

Medtech purchasing

Results pertinent to medtech companies show that capital expenditure for medical devices is mixed, though in all geographies there is an expected tendency toward increased spend in the next three years.

Notably, the majority of respondents see medtech companies as strategic partners rather than product manufacturers. Hospitals are seeking partners who can help achieve goals and provide valuable services, solutions, and support beyond their products. Primary interests are in solutions that improve the quality of care delivered, including the delivery of care, the accuracy, speed, and cost of diagnosis results, and patient satisfaction. Of secondary interest is the ability to optimize resources and increase efficiency.

Hospitals in Japan and SEA are increasingly considering standardizing purchasing, with medical consumables, diagnostic imaging equipment and support appliances at the top of current priorities. Hospitals in China are adjusting to the implementation of value-based purchasing (VBP), standardizing tendering at the national and regional levels. Meanwhile, import-only medtech firms are facing growing market challenges in China due to the widespread implementation of the “Buy China” policy, Order 551.

Expanding digitization

A critical shift noted across APAC is the adoption of digital solutions. Primary use cases vary by geography, with China focusing on online registration and scheduling, patient-accessible health records, and personalized information pushed to patients, and SEA hospitals prioritizing patient administration and scheduling, patient information and personal data, and initial consultation/diagnosis. SEA hospitals most highly value digital health solution adoption, especially for its role in increasing staff efficiency and satisfaction.

Concerns surrounding digital health solutions, including patient privacy, a shortage of talent to develop and implement digital solutions, and incompatibility with different digital solutions are similar across surveyed regions. 

To learn more about the outlook and operational priorities of public and private hospitals in APAC, please download our analysis.   

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