Document paper Semiconductor

Global Semiconductor Shortage Need for Prioritisation of Healthcare Capabilities

The ongoing global semiconductor shortage is severely impacting the manufacturing and assembly of medical technologies, i.e., medical devices and in vitro diagnostic (IVD). These industries combined use approximately 1% of the current global supply of semiconductors, and yet even this small amount is under threat of undersupply. The gap between supply and demand is likely to increase even further in the months and years ahead, as demand for medical technologies is expected to grow continuously.

Ramping up medical technology supply to meet demand is essential, if healthcare systems are to clear the significant COVID-19 related patient backlogs that still persist in many Member States, while continuing to tackle the chronic challenges of ageing population and the resulting prevalence of chronic conditions and the aspiration for a digital transformation of healthcare that is desired in order to ease these pressures.

It is therefore critical to ensure a continuous and sufficient supply of semiconductors, to meet the growing demand of healthcare systems for medical technologies needed to deliver patient care.

Call for Action:
Immediate global and European actions are needed to safeguard against harm to patients and healthcare systems stemming from the semiconductor shortage, including:
(1) prioritized allocation of mature and advanced semiconductors to the healthcare sector, now and in the future
(2) measures to allow for transparency in the allocation of semiconductors
(3) flexibility to incorporate varying semiconductor types under the medical device and IVD regulatory frameworks in a swift manner
(4) incentives to increase global production of various semiconductor types, and to facilitate efforts of end users to redesign medical technologies so they can use newer generations of semiconductors

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Posted on 26.07.2022

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