8 Top Growth Markets in Brazil’s Health Sector

There’s no question that Latin America’s economies have faced their fair share of challenges in recent years. The healthcare economy has suffered as a result, as well. But a recent resurgence in Latin American healthcare has led to growth opportunities all over the region. One of the most exciting markets is the largest economy in Latin America: Brazil.

Make no mistake: The outlook for Brazilian health care is strong. Recent reports project that health care spending in Brazil should grow at a rate of 5.8% between 2016 and 2020. With that in mind, here are the specific areas that you’ll want to keep your eye on for the year ahead.

#1 Medical Devices

Always a staple of a strong healthcare economy, sales for the Brazilian medical device market are an area of optimism in the coming year. According to Market Research Future, the annual growth rate for Brazil’s medical device market should remain strong, averaging around 9% between 2017 and 2023. And information from Brazilian Alliance of Innovative Industry in Health reports even stronger numbers for January-September 2018, with a growth in the Brazilian medical device sector of 14.5%. Obviously, these figures bode well for the growth of the Brazilian healthcare market in 2019.

Through our HospiScope service, here at GHI we have noticed a similar growth. For example, between 2016 and 2017 we observed the following increases in base installed equipment in Brazilian hospitals:

  • 34% growth in electrocardiogram machines
  • 10% growth in endoscopy machines
  • 9% growth in MRI machines
  • 7% growth in CT scanners
  • 4% growth in X-ray machines

We’re still calculating figures from 2017-2018 to see if Brazilian hospitals kept increasing their amounts of medical equipment. However, when we analyzed 2018 data as far as medical equipment imported to Brazil, we noticed some increases in a few categories:

  • 89% increase in the amount of ultrasound machines imported into Brazil in 2018
  • 65% increase in the amount of endoscopy machines imported into Brazil in 2018
  • 13% increase in the amount of MRI machines imported into Brazil in 2018

#2 Biomaterials

Biomaterials, or the natural or synthetic materials that are used for medical devices or synthetic body parts, are a major growth area throughout healthcare, and Brazil is certainly no exception. The most recent projections indicate that the Brazilian biomaterials market, which was valued at USD $1.89 billion in 2016, will reach USD $5.18 billion by 2022. That’s an annual growth rate of 18.3%.

#3 Heathtech Startups

Though Brazil’s healthcare system has improved in many ways, it still faces many inefficiencies and inequalities. One market looking to resolve these issues, thus becoming one of Brazil’s major growth markets, is healthtech startups. According to a recent study by Liga Ventures, Brazil has more than 250 healthtech start-ups, with even more on the way. Some of the areas they are focusing on include mobile health apps, health care on demand, telehealth and AI, among others.

#4 Digital Health

Along similar lines, digital health in Brazil is currently booming. This is a broad-ranging market that includes telehealth, wearables, health apps, video consultations and other cutting-edge technologies. According to a recent market forecast, Brazil’s digital health market should grow 27.9% by 2024.

#5 Healthy Foods

Another encouraging market trend is the rise of the Brazilian natural, organic and chemical-free food market. Recent data from Euromonitor International ranks Brazil fifth in the entire world in this sector, with R $93.6 billion in sales (USD $25.2 billion). From 2013 to 2018, sales of organic food in Brazil grew by 18.5%.

#6 Pharmacies

If you’re interested in the pharmaceutical retail market in Brazil, this is another area of good news in 2019. Put simply, Brazil’s pharmacies are doing quite well, not only selling pharmaceuticals but everything else. Sales in Brazil’s pharmacies increased 8.3% from the first half of 2017 to the first half of 2018. Projections indicate more of the same growth for 2019.

#7 Medication

One major reason Brazil’s pharmacies are doing so well, of course, is medication sales. With almost USD $18 billion in drugs sold in 2018, Brazil is by far the largest medication market in Latin America. Recent data indicates that the Brazilian medication market will continue to grow in the year ahead. The Brazilian medication market showed 11.73% growth from 2016 to 2017.

#8 Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)

The final Brazilian market that you’ll want to monitor closely in 2019 is electronic medical records. The penetration of EMR systems continues to grow in Brazil, reaching 81% in 2017, a growth of 15% compared to 2014. Expect EMRs to continue to expand as the rest of Brazil’s medical centers come up to speed in 2019.


Explore More

Contact us to find out about two key resources we offer for Brazil:

HospiScope—Data on all of Brazil’s 7,878 hospitals, including equipment counts in dozens of categories

SurgiScope—Data on the surgical procedures performed in Brazil in private hospitals

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