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Healthcare Sector in Latin America


Publication date
19 October 2023
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
Publication type
  • Factsheet


Recent innovations in the fields of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), mechanical and electrical engineering or biochemistry have led to the development of brandnew types of tools with broad potential application in the medical field. These technologies are fundamentally changing the paradigms of the medical profession with new ways to exchange information between patients and doctors, or new technical solutions to specific diseases. This evolution has created unique opportunities for the development of new medical devices to be used for diagnostic, monitoring and therapeutic purposes.

The market for medical devices is vast and highly segmented, as it covers a large number of different products, such as sticking plasters, syringes, spectacles or wheelchairs. In order to succeed in this challenging, highly competitive industry, innovation and creativity are crucial.

The medical device field is an IPR-intensive industry, with an above-average use of IPR per employee, as compared to other industries that use IPRs. Furthermore, inventors and companies active in this field should note that due to the typically short lifecycle of these types of products (usually 18-24 months before an improved product becomes available), to adopt a carefully planned IP strategy is of paramount importance. Accordingly, a recent report by MedTech Europe highlighted that more than 13,000 patent applications were filed in 2017 with the European Patent Office (EPO) in the field of medical technology – 7.9% of the total number of applications –, still more than any other sector in Europe. Moreover, most of these applications come from EU SMEs, which make up around 95% of the medical technology industry in Europe. The purpose of this Factsheet is to offer the reader some guidelines on how to protect and manage your intellectual property in Latin American countries, especially in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.


19 OCTOBER 2023
Healthcare sector in Latin America