Boston Scientific Opens IAS/Innovation Centre In China
Espicom View : Boston Scientific is one of the latest in a string of companies to take advantage of China as a base for the Asia-Pacific market. Now that Medtronic and Boston Scientific have opened centres in the Asia-Pacific region, other medical technology giants are bound to follow in their footsteps. We will likely see more innovation centres open in China and Singapore, as companies try and capture this market. However, Boston Scientific will have to tread carefully in the Chinese market if it is not to fall foul of bribery laws, as we have seen with a number of big pharmaceutical companies recently.
Boston Scientific has opened the China branch of the Boston Scientific Institute for Advancing Science (IAS) and a new innovation centre in the country. Through these facilities, Boston Scientific expects to foster local talent while sustainably developing innovative technologies uniquely suited to the China market.
The IAS offers Chinese medical practitioners training in clinical practice, and multidisciplinary programmes in interventional cardiology, cardiac rhythm management and electrophysiology, endoscopy, peripheral interventions and urology and women's health. These programmes are intended to raise medical professionals' awareness of the latest industry trends in addition to their knowledge of innovative technologies.
All existing professional education programmes or platforms in the market, such as Horizon Academy and the company's E-Club project, will be integrated into the IAS. As the heart of Boston Scientific's professional education programmes in China, it is anticipated that the IAS in Shanghai will offer training courses for more than 700 professionals every year. IAS is also expected to cooperate with top medical universities and colleges in China to launch clinical courses for students, contributing to the development of China's medical industry.
In addition to serving Chinese practitioners, the IAS will support other professional education opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region. The IAS will offer various academic programmes, such as medical conferences, visiting experts' lectures, symposia on complex lesions, diagnostic and therapeutic technology classes, on-site operation training, and international exchange, as well as training programmes that will reach numerous provincial-level hospitals throughout the country.
Boston Scientific is showcasing its products to potential customers by training them to use the company's devices. This may end up resulting in more sales for the company, by enticing potential customers with training, conferences and other programmes. With a number of pharmaceutical companies facing investigation for bribery allegations in China, medical device companies will have to tread carefully not to follow the same path.
The Boston Scientific Innovation Center in China is designed to drive understanding of innovative technologies and advanced medical technology products. The centre is fully equipped with the latest multimedia devices, demonstrating the company's cutting-edge research in disease treatment practices. The centre will also collect customer feedback to aid in the development of products and technologies customised for China, in collaboration with the company's global R&D team.
With sales faltering in western markets, especially sales of cardiovascular rhythm management devices, Boston Scientific will need to supplement its income from markets with a growing economy, as well as new technologies. In July 2011, Boston Scientific announced that it was to invest US$150mn in R&D in China over a five-year period. This move to open two new centres in China highlights Boston Scientific's drive to expand in this market.
Boston is one of the latest in a string of companies to take advantage of China as a base for the Asia-Pacific market. St Jude Medical opened a training facility in Beijing in 2011; Medtronic expanded into China with the acquisition of Kanghui Holdings and Lifetech; and Covidien built and R&D centre in China in 2012. Earlier in September 2013, Medtronic opened a centre of excellence in Singapore as a base for Asia-Pacific, perhaps to avoid an issues that might come in China.