Covidien has opened the Covidien Center of Innovation Korea (CCI Korea), its first research and development, and training and education centre in Korea. With a total investment of US$21mn over a three-year period, CCI Korea is a high-tech medical training centre focused on raising awareness of various disease states and providing opportunities for advancing healthcare professionals' capabilities by creating access to a full-range of Covidien's medical devices.
CCI Korea spans an area of more than 6,000 sqm and includes:
â¢ a surgical laboratory with 11 operating stations;
â¢ an intensive care unit (ICU) laboratory with two ICU stations and a human patient simulator; and
â¢ an auditorium with seating capacity for 112 people, which has 3D/high-definition display technology and a state-of-the-art, optimised sound system to provide an immersive and experiential training environment.
Earlier in 2013, Covidien signed two memorandums of understanding with the Korean Surgical Society and the Korean Society for Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery. All healthcare professionals affiliated with these two societies will experience CCI Korea as part of their mandatory certification programmes. Covidien will continue to collaborate with Korean medical societies for training programmes and new product development at CCI Korea, with a focus on promoting national health and advancing medical technology in the country. Currently, Covidien does not manufacture medical devices in Korea, but has a representative office in Seoul.
Korea is a key market in Covidien's global strategy. Espicom's Industry View notes that South Korea ranks as one of the world's leading economies, with GDP listed among the top 15 in the world at an estimated US$1,155bn in 2013, equal to US$23,680 per capita. As a result, much of the population expects a high level of medical care. The economy is expected to grow at a real rate of 2.1% in 2013, having grown by an estimated 2.1% in 2012. Growth over the following five years is forecast to average 4.3%. South Korea has one of the highest levels of health spending within Asia, estimated at 7.8% of GDP in 2013, equal to US$89.7bn US$1,840 per capita. Around 56% is funded by the public sector, predominantly through the public health insurance system. The government has been forced to implement cost-cutting measures in recent years, owing to a large deficit faced by the healthcare system. Healthcare costs continue to rise, with the country's rapidly ageing population adding upward pressure to total spending.