Medical Technologies

Scotland is home to a large and vibrant medtech industry encompassing more than 250 companies, and with over 9,000 people employed within this sector. Med Tech has enjoyed a growth rate of 8% per annum over the last decade – clear evidence of the ambition of this thriving and connected community. Success stems from a globally recognised research community, an outstanding reputation for innovation, a collaborative clinical base and a highly skilled and flexible workforce.

Areas of strength in Scotland:

Therapeutic Devices – Companies developing products used to treat patients, including therapeutic medical devices, tools or drug delivery/infusion technologies.

ImagingCompanies developing products used to diagnose or monitor conditions using imaging technologies including products such as MRI – for example, Scotland is home to a new 7T research MRI, at the Imaging Centre of Excellence in Glasgow, – computed topography (CT), x-ray imaging equipment & optical biopsy systems

Non Imaging Diagnostics Companies developing products used to diagnose or monitor conditions via non-imaging technologies, includes patient monitoring and in vitro testing equipment.

In Vitro Diagnostics Reagents, instruments & systems intended for use in diagnosis of disease or other conditions, including a determination of the state of health in order to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease. Such products are intended for use in the collection, preparation & examination of specimens taken from the human body.

Personal Care & Assisted Living – Includes companies providing aids for mobility, personal care and independent living.

Surgical & Clinical Equipment – Single and multiple use surgical and clinical instruments, dental instruments, endoscopy, laryngoscopes, medication delivery, vital care and safety devices.

Research  & Other Equipment – Companies developing equipment used for research or other purposes including analytical and life science tools,  specialised laboratory equipment and furniture.

Medical technologies – Key Facts

  • A Diverse and supportive supplier community− 150 supply chain companies with a wide range of capabilities from clean rooms, engineering and lab services to medical supplies, packaging and waste treatment.
  • Easy access to clinical skills and excellence− including the NHS, Scotland’s single healthcare provider and the world’s biggest healthcare delivery organisation.
  • Groundbreaking, world-renowned research− strengths in imaging, ophthalmics, orthopaedics, cardiovascular instrumentation and implants.
  • Depth of experience in convergent technologies for partnering and collaboration– from micro and nanotechnology, physics and photonics to materials and technical textiles, electronics and specialised software solutions.
  • A dynamic, industry-led support network – including R&D centres of excellence, product design centres and specialist research pools
  • A culture of success – Scotland’s medtech companies such as Touch Bionics, Optos and Aircraft Medical are becoming leaders in their fields helping boost Scotland’s international reputation.
  • A friendly regulatory environment– the European regulatory system allows to provide medical technology to patients 2-3 years ahead of the USA and 5 years ahead of Japan. 

Medical Technologies Research excellence

Our innovation and excellence centres help drive collaboration between Scotland’s universities and medtech companies.

  • Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices – Development hub offering the only UK postdoctoral training course in medical technologies.
  • Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT) – GE’s first European centre of Excellence for Pre-Clinical Image-Guided Interventions and Surgery. R&D in minimally invasive surgery, laser imaging & therapy, medical robotics, regenerative medicine & drug delivery.
  • Cuschieri Skills Centre – University of Dundee – Interventional human anatomy, virtual reality simulation, operating theatre, laparoscopic training laboratories and surgical training. The CSC is one of Europe’s most advanced centres of excellence for teaching and training surgeons in keyhole surgery. The facility offers interventional human anatomy, virtual reality simulation, micro-surgery operating microscopes, an operating theatre and fully equipped laparoscopic training laboratories. Read more
  • Biomedical Textiles Research Centre – Heriot Watt University – Research programmes on fibre treatment for improved biocompatibility in medical & dental applications
  • Robert Gordon University (RGU) – Aberdeen – Health & Wellbeing themes in CVMD, Occupational Health  & Psychosocial/Mental Health.

Three Innovation centres were set up to foster collaboration between universities and industry:

The Digital Health Institute (DHI) supports projects from the first steps of R&D through to testing, scaling, and getting solutions closer to market. They offer access to the latest research, and encourage companies to develop and test ideas. Read more

Stratified Medicine Scotland aims to improve the treatment of acute and chronic disease in patients and provide new tools to enable health care providers to diagnose and treat. They support the development of new and better targeted medicines by pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Read more

The industry-led Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems (CENSIS) plays a key part of the developing innovation landscape in Scotland.