Market Opportunity Assessment for Select Medical Devices in Kenya

“With 74% of its population in rural areas, and health insurance being extended only to 25% of the entire population, healthcare access is limited to a few key regions in Kenya”

Overview: Medical Devices Market in Kenya

Valued at $120Mn in 2016, the Kenyan medical devices market is being driven by opportunities through risk sharing models with the government sector as well as increased uptake in private sector hospitals. With a practically non-existent healthcare infrastructure in the northern parts, Kenya’s medical device market may depend upon specific opportunities at primary, secondary and tertiary levels:

  • Devolution of healthcare may allow additional impetus and autonomy for district level hospitals to purchase medical devices
  • Enactment of Special Economic Zones Act to aid manufacturing of low cost supplies and devices
  • Free maternity care in public hospitals leading to increased birthing at hospitals


Our Client: A major innovator of radiology, cardiology and surgical products as well as healthcare IT solutions globally.

Challenge Statement: Our client was looking to understand the feasibility of launching low-cost medical devices in Kenya while also understanding the need for sophisticated high-end equipment. The sales strategy was to be devised based on the overall heat-map of current need-gaps, disease burden, capacity and skills as well as competitive landscape.

Research Design: The first step in understanding the addressable market was to create an in-depth segmentation of healthcare delivery facilities in the country. A detailed list of all hospitals in the country including primary, secondary and tertiary care hospitals was created. EMeRG conducted a deep dive into the installed base of medical devices across various hospital types utilizing various data sources including social media research. The various hospital departments and specialties were mapped at a hospital level to understand the current addressable market and the penetration of medical technologies across 90% of all Kenyan hospitals.

Research Methodology: Secondary research utilizing regional sources of information was employed to understand the healthcare delivery structure in public and private facilities while assessing the distribution by tiers of care delivery. The public healthcare facilities in Kenya included 292 sites with in-patient facilities including referral hospitals, provincial hospitals, district hospitals, sub-district hospitals as well as about 766 health centers. The non-governmental sector included private chain hospitals, private referral, other private and mission hospitals.

Using regional registries and various data sources from Ministry of Health (among others), the disease burden across key geographies including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Isiolo, Mandera (among others) was mapped. Pockets of excellence with respect to availability of specialists, technicians and nurses were mapped for cardiology, oncology, critical care as well as maternal and infant care.

A detailed list of the key med-tech OEMs as well as their corresponding distributors was created. The geographical footprint of individual channel partners was assessed. In addition, analysis of public tenders was conducted to understand the uptake of various equipment including diagnostic imaging scanners, ECG, patient monitors, ventilators, anesthesia machines (among others).

Primary research was conducted with key influencers of purchase decisions across all major care areas including Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Surgery and Critical care. Department heads for individual specialties were interviewed across all major hospital types in the country, spread across large cities as well as smaller towns for primary care centres.

Research Outcome: EMeRG’s research revealed significant need-gaps across various care areas in both public and private hospitals.  Significant need-gap in north-east Kenya especially for antenatal care (68% of women deliver without the assistance of a skilled medical professional and 25% receive no antenatal care at all). EMeRG utilized a detailed market opportunity model incorporating TAM/SAM while mapping it with current disease burden, availability of skilled workforce (among others) across major regions in Kenya. The findings helped internalize a detailed sales strategy while utilizing direct sales and channel partners across regions and customer segments identified in the heat map.

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