High-tech groups stimulate expansion in medical equipment

Updated:2018-04-09By Li You (China Daily)

The Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone has become a global hub for the development of medical devices.

Its total industrial output value for medical device manufacturing reached 11.43 billion yuan ($1.81 billion) in 2016, an increase of 5.2 percent compared with 2015, according to the zone.

Some 70,000 high-tech companies and startups are located in the 531-square-kilometer zone, engaging in sectors such as biomedicine, high-end equipment manufacturing and information technology. Many of them have established a strong position in the medical care sector.

Ankon Technologies Co in the zone is a pioneer in medical capsule robotic development and production, and has developed an endoscope system for gastric examination using robotics. Made of polymer medical materials, its robots can be used in the early detection of gastrointestinal diseases affecting the stomach and small intestine.

Integrated with more than 300 precise components, the robots have been developed using more than 80 patents for technological innovation.

Ankon Technologies has adhered to independent research and generated a number of patents involving magnetic field control, optical imaging and chip integration.

The capsule robots were approved to be used in clinical practice by the China Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and today have been adopted by nearly 1,000 hospitals and medical institutes across the country.

In 2014, the company established a production line with an annual output capacity of 1 million units with support of the administrators of the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone. Ankon Technologies has currently expanded its service network to countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom.

Ankon Technologies' products were displayed in an exhibition of China's outstanding achievements over the past five years in Beijing last year, along with other innovative products such as the world's largest radio telescope Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, also known as FAST and Fuxing bullet trains. The exhibition attracted thousands of visitors last year.

Besides the detection of gastrointestinal diseases, the capsule robots can also be used to help detect cardiovascular diseases. The company is now researching more than 10 kinds of different capsule robots that can be used in other areas.

The Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone has witnessed the rise of high-tech manufacturing industry, and today the number of its science and technology enterprises accounts for 80 percent of Shanghai's total. By the end of 2017, a total of 375 Fortune 500-listed companies had settled in the zone.