Italy - Country Commercial Guide
Medical Devices and Technology

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-11-26


Italy is a mature market for medical equipment and the fourth largest market in Europe after Germany, France, and the UK, with about 4,500 companies (including 42% distributors, 53% producers, and 5% service providers) and over 112,000 employees. The medical device market (including dental and optical devices) was valued at $9.8 billion in 2020 with imports accounting for $6.7 billion. Public hospitals account for over 75% of medical device purchases, and the private sector 25%. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the growth of the medical device market in Italy. While there has been a significant increase in demand for personal protective equipment and ventilators, it has declined in other product categories, especially orthopedic and dental devices.

   Unit: USD Millions

Table: Market Size for Medical Devices   








Total local production





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Imports from the United States





Total Market Size





The above statistics are unofficial estimates based on reports from Fitch Solutions and Assobiomedica,

Exchange rate 1 USD = EUR 1.12 (2022) 

Despite a considerable local manufacturing industry, the domestic market for medical equipment in Italy is highly dependent on imports. Major suppliers include the Netherlands (26%), Germany (22%), Belgium (11%), France (9%), China (7%), and the United States (5%). In 2020, the United States’ share of Italian imports was valued at $367 million. Major U.S. medical device imports include diagnostic imaging, dental, and patient aids. Many U.S. medical equipment manufacturers are present in the Italian healthcare market.

The manufacturing sector in Italy is made up of a broad network of small and micro businesses and start-ups. Local manufacturers are strong in producing diagnostic-imaging equipment, contrast media for imaging, orthopedics and prosthetics, biomedical instruments and electro medical diagnostics, dialysis equipment, and dental products ranging from instruments to dental chairs. The highest concentration of medical-device companies is in northern Italy, primarily in the regions of Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna.

Budgetary pressures and escalating costs are moving Italy towards value-based health care: new products that provide better health outcomes in cost-effective ways. The public healthcare system is likely to develop value-based and quality-based pricing models and request data and analytics to assess cost-effectiveness. Opportunities for companies with very innovative products are increasing compared to those marketing traditional products. Demand for preventive care, remote monitoring, and early identification of at-risk-patients is also increasing.

Leading Sub-Sectors and Opportunities

Medical Devices

At the beginning of 2020, the Italian government, hoping to improve local healthcare assistance to patients and reduce emergency room dependency, allocated €235 million for the acquisition of basic diagnostics devices. Such devices for general-practitioner use include ECG machines, spirometers, halters, dermoscopes, ultrasound devices (EcoFAST), as well as health IT platforms.

Within the National Recovery and Resilience Program (NRRP), the healthcare sector is slated to receive €1.18 billion to replace obsolete medical equipment. The money will be used to purchase 3,133 devices, including CT scanners, MRI machines, linear accelerators, fixed x-ray systems, angiography systems, gamma cameras, PET scanners, mammography units, and ultrasound devices. Procurement is expected to occur at the end of 2024. In addition, plans call for the investment of €1.45 billion in 280 hospitals to advance digitalization, including applications in surgery units, less-invasive stabilization systems (LISS), laboratory information systems, pharmacy services, emergency rooms, triage, drug prescriptions, diagnostics, repositories, and scheduling.

The Italian market is receptive to high-quality and technologically advanced diagnostics as well as therapeutic equipment and products.


The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for e-health solutions in the Italian healthcare system. The information technology applied to the healthcare system is a key enabler for delivering more effective and efficient healthcare. Italy’s 2020 expenditures in information communications and technology (ICT) in healthcare were $1.52 billion, corresponding to 1.2% of total healthcare expenditures. This percentage is less than that in other developed countries, where the average is 2.5%–3%. Despite the 5% increase with respect to 2019, expenditures for the adoption of digital instruments in healthcare remain low.

Another NRRP-related healthcare priority is investment in e-health technology infrastructure and the electronic medical record (EMR), for which the government has allocated €1.67 billion. Currently, the EMR is active in 21 regions but is only used by 12% of the population. Another €1 billion will be invested in telemedicine to enhance healthcare assistance at the local level.


The Italian healthcare procurement system is organized into 33 procurement centers and a National Procurement Agency. Most purchases are made by public tender and are open to both domestic and foreign companies. Announcements of tenders on public procurements are available on the website of the National Procurement Agency, CONSIP. It is unrealistic for a foreign firm to assume it can navigate the cumbersome bureaucratic procedure of public procurement without having a base in Italy or a strategic Italian partner.

New EU regulations on medical devices went into effect on May 26, 2001, and regulations on in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical devices went into effect on May 26, 2022. However, a transitional period has been granted for IVD devices depending on product class until 2027. These regulations will replace three existing directives: Active Implantable Medical Device Directive (90/385/EEC), Medical Device Directive (93/42/EEC), and In-Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Directive (98/79/EEC).

All medical devices marketed in the EU must bear the CE mark. More information on the regulations can be found on the European Commission website.

New medical devices must be registered by the Directorate General of Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Services at the Italian Ministry of Health and have a unique identification number in the National Health System directory (Repertorio). We recommend U.S. companies designate a third party in Italy to register their products with the Ministry of Health. Online registration can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website:


Ministry of Health

National Procurement Agency (CONSIP)

Expo Sanità 2024 (date TBC) Bologna, Italy

U.S. Commercial Service Italy:

Kira Migliorini, Healthcare Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Rome

Tel: +39 06 4674 2204