5. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGAA
$14.6 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2013
The biggest provider of kidney dialysis products and services, Fresenius Medical Care has been named to Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative companies in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Last year, the company ranked as the sixth largest medical device firm.
Background on image: In 2013, Fresenius announced that it had produced 1 billion dialyzers since the company was founded. Shown here is a cross-section of a dialyzer from the company, which are used to filter out toxins from the blood in dialysis.
4. Siemens AG
$17.3 billion in sales (13.6 billion Euros) in its healthcare sector in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013
As in the case of GE and Philips, Siemens is another huge conglomerate seeking focus on its healthcare business amid flat sales. As part of the strategy, the German multinational earlier this year announced it was selling its healthcare IT business to Cerner Corp. for $1.3 billion.
Along with headwinds from the strength of the Euro, Siemens has blamed weak economic conditions in Europe, uncertainty in the healthcare market, the excise tax on medical devices in the U.S., and—as with other multinationals—slowing growth in China.
(Note: Siemens' health IT business has about $1.2 billion in annual revenue, according to Reuters.)
Background on image: Siemens Healthcare in May announced FDA clearance for the Artis One—an angiography system boasting low space requirements. It is designed for routine interventions, including revascularizations of peripheral vessel occlusions, functional tests of dialysis shunts in patients with kidney failure, diagnostic or minimally invasive angiographic treatment of narrowed coronary arteries, and pacemaker implantations. Siemens announced in late September that St. Johns Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit has become the first U.S. healthcare facility to install the Artis.
3. General Electric Co.
$18.2 billion in revenue in its healthcare segment in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2013
The conglomerate has a diversified range of products, making everything from CT scanners to jet engines. The company recently announced that it is selling its famed appliance division amidst sluggish sales. Healthcare is another sector where the company is experiencing soft results.
The company’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt, however, is committed to its healthcare. Just on Monday, October 6, the company announced that GE Healthcare CEO John Dineen was leaving, to be replaced by John Flannery, who had been GE’s senior vice president of business development.
Background on image: GE’s Vscan pocket-sized ultrasound system GE has won a slew of awards.
2. Medtronic plc
Assuming the merger goes through as planned, Medtronic and Covidien would have roughly $27.2 billion a year in sales between them.
$17 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended April 25, 2014
$10.2 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended Sept. 27, 2013
By acquiring Covidien for $43 billion, Medtronic could give J&J a run for its money as the company with the largest device and diagnostics business. In 2013, J&J had nearly $28.1 billion in sales—roughly $10 billion more than its nearest competitor, Siemens. But Medtronic plc would be $27 billion-a-year company in itself. On top of that, both Medtronic and Covidien already had an aggressive plan to expand their presence in emerging markets. In 2015, it’s anybody’s guess which medical device company will bring in the most revenue.
Background on image: The Micra pacemaker, billed by Medtronic as the world’s smallest, is an order of magnitude smaller than current generation pacemakers. Medtronic developed the device in house, as we detailed in the article “How Medtronic Made the World's Smallest Pacemaker.”
1. Johnson & Johnson
$28.1 billion in sales in J&J’s Medical Devices and Diagnostics segment in the fiscal year ended Dec. 30, 2013
Johnson & Johnson stakes claim to “the world’s largest medical devices and diagnostics business,” and it is aggressively defending that title. The company says it will unveil more than 30 major products by the end of 2016. J&J is also aggressively expanding into emerging markets and has a nearly $2 billion annual R&D budget.
Background on image: The ThermoCool Smart Touch catheter from J&J’s Biosense Webster division became the first catheter ablation device with direct-contact force technology to win FDA approval. The device offers real-time measurement of contact force during catheter ablation, enabling it to monitor atrial fibrillation.