Global rush to snatch China's ventilator, but component supply has become the main bottleneck

Chen Xi Jinfeng reporter Hua Ling

"From January 28 to now, our factory production line is basically full, especially in these two days. Because the overseas epidemic situation is developing too fast, the current factory work schedule is seven days a week, from 9:00 to 23:00 Production. Although production has been scheduled until the end of April, a large number of international orders are still received every day. "Xu Jian, chief marketing officer of Beijing Yihe Jiaye Medical Technology Co., Ltd., told a reporter from Science and Technology Daily.

With the rapid spread of the New Coronary Pneumonia epidemic worldwide, the demand for ventilators abroad has increased dramatically, especially the demand for invasive ventilators. China has therefore become an important exporter of ventilators. According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, from March 19 to 30, China has urgently provided more than 1,700 invasive ventilators abroad.

The reporter learned from the State Food and Drug Administration that in China's medical device classification catalog, ventilators are divided into two forms according to the third type of medical device management and the second type of medical device management according to different risks. The ventilator managed according to the third category of medical devices is generally used to maintain the lives of patients, and is mainly used in the intensive care unit (ICU) and respiratory wards; the ventilator managed according to the second category of medical devices is used for non-life support to non-invasively breathe It is mainly machine-based and can be used in respiratory wards or at home.

"Dyspnea is one of the typical symptoms of patients with new coronary pneumonia. Only the use of ventilator-assisted or alternative breathing can guarantee the patient's blood oxygen content and avoid failure of the respiratory system and vital organs." Tianjin Teda Hospital, Deputy Director of Intensive Medicine Department, Tianjin Aid Wang Yimin, a member of the Hubei Medical Team, believes that the proportion of the critically ill patients who have been rescued depends on the number of ventilators.

As of March 31, there are 126 types of ventilators approved for listing in China, of which 95 are managed according to the third category of medical devices and 31 are managed according to the second category of medical devices. According to market participants, the invasive ventilator market is dominated by imported brands, and domestic invasive ventilator started late, but has developed rapidly in recent years and can account for 30% to 40% of the market share of ventilator in developing countries. Compared with invasive, the non-invasive ventilator market has relatively low production technology and requirements, so domestic brands can almost compete with foreign brands in court, accounting for 40% of the national market (including households).

"At present, due to the supply of raw materials, the output is only one-third of the actual capacity." Yuan Zhen, deputy general manager of Jiangsu Yuyue Medical Equipment Co., Ltd., said that the company's ventilator has been sold to more than 30 countries in Europe .

"The core components of the ventilator involve turbo fans, sensors, chips, etc." Yuan Zhen admitted, "These core components are mainly from Europe and the United States. Although there are also companies in China, the noise, speed, sensor accuracy and sensitivity of the fan are all the same as overseas products. There are differences. For example, turbo fans need to have high speed and fast response speed, so that the pressure can be quickly increased or decreased according to the patient's breathing rate, otherwise the patient will not be able to receive effective treatment. "

However, after the outbreak of the global outbreak, suppliers of ventilator components are also facing a blowout of global demand. This poses challenges to upstream suppliers' production capacity, supply chain and production cycle.

"We also try to use alternative materials, but the ventilator has strict requirements on the reliability and safety of the equipment for long-term use, so only by solving the material supply of the source supplier can we increase the production capacity with quality and quantity." The relevant person in charge of the medical equipment company said.

If these imported devices can achieve domestic substitution, can we avoid the current situation of limited production?

"Independently controllable and dependent on imports, not only in our industry, all products will encounter this problem. Globalization has the advantages of globalization, that is, division of labor and cooperation, each has its own advantages. Precision control parts in Europe are very powerful, while China is , Plastics, and general electronics are very capable. If the globalization division of labor is usually efficient, Xu Jian analyzed, but when the epidemic affects the normal operation of factories in a certain country, globalization will be limited by this problem. And autonomous control can avoid this situation. From the perspective of supply chain management, localization and localization are a trend. Do we have to be all localized? There are still many issues to be resolved.