Fireside Chat with Urs Mattes – Perspectives on MedTech potential in China

By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager - Academic Relations

On June 4, Urs Mattes came to swissnex China for a presentation entitled Opportunities and Challenges in the Chinese Medtech landscape. His talk was part of the event series called Fireside Chat, a collaboration between SwissCham and swissnex China hosted every few months in the swissnex China space. This format is always the occasion for seasoned Swiss professionals in China to share their knowledge and experience with our community.

Having lived in the region for two decades, Dr. Urs Mattes, Director Asia-Pacific at Cendres+Métaux SA, is a well-established University of Zurich alumnus in China. He has accumulated extensive cross-functional expertise and has been a board member of several medical and non-medical Swiss companies.

After an introduction by Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO at swissnex China, Urs Mattes started off his presentation by painting a portrait of the Chinese healthcare landscape, often referring to other countries, namely Switzerland, in order to highlight its specificities and to put it into perspective. He specifically touched on the question of finding a balance between access, quality and cost in such a system. In his view, some specific challenges that the Chinese healthcare currently faces include the rise of chronic diseases, the absence of gatekeeper to enter the care system, the shortage of specialists and family doctors, the lack of acceptance by the population of community centers and the outbound medical tourism.


Based on the context he depicted, Urs Mattes reckons that this environment provides a sizeable market with many opportunities for innovation in the field of medical technologies. But he also pointed out some specific challenges that come with it. For instance, it is sometimes very difficult for companies to register a new medtech product to be marketed in China. But if the Chinese market can prove to be risky for foreign medtech companies, there is nonetheless a large potential for growth in this field.

At the end of the presentation, the public, notably composed of UZH alumni, could further interact with Dr. Mattes during a Q&A session and connect during the networking reception which concluded the night. For this edition, we would like to extend a special thank to UZH Alumni Shanghai and SwissCham Shanghai for their collaboration and support.

The swissnex China team looks forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!