Medical Equipment Makers Appeal For Microchips To Save Lives

On a typically short-running of microchips supply, medical device makers around the world appealed to the chip suppliers to put their demand as a higher priority as their devices are directly concerned with saving lives.

Although the medical equipment industry holds only a tiny fraction of the world’s chips market compared to automobile & consumer electronics, their products like MRI machines, pacemakers and blood-sugar monitors for diabetes are vital devices to conduct emergency treatments.

Mike Arena, vice president of operations for Fujifilm SonoSite, the makers of portable ultrasound machines said, “Nobody wants to be the person who shuts down critical medical devices in the middle of Covid.”

The global microchips supply facing a crunch as the production was disrupted for pandemic resulting in a huge thrust to automobile and consumer electronics industry. Laptops and printer prices have gone too high. A medical technology survey by AdvaMed shows medical equipment makers are also facing a similar crunch with delays, cutbacks, and cancellation of orders.

Mr. Arena said that his company recently paid a broker $65 apiece for a part that usually costs $1.49 because it was in such short supply, for an order of 3,000 pieces.

Courtesy: Texas Instruments

As total medical semiconductor revenue of $5 billion is too negligible compared to the overall chip market (1.1%), medical device makers are appealing to suppliers’ sense of higher duty to assist in making devices to save lives on a priority basis.

Bottom Line: The medical equipment makers are appealing to microchip manufacturers to provide them supply on an urgent basis as their devices save a life in medical emergencies amid a low chip production globally due to pandemics.

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