Australian stories: local ventilator manufacturers are beating global rivals in media coverage
Medical giants’ media coverage is dwarfed by homegrown companies manufacturing ventilators
Media conversations around the care for patients with COVID-19 keeps shifting between topics: diagnosis, intensive care, vaccines and respiratory support. It has been interesting to witness which healthcare topics are the most important to journalists in a given week, throughout the pandemic, using our media monitoring software, Meltwater.
One keyword we have not yet investigated is ‘ventilator’. For context, we wanted to check that the amount of coverage concerning ventilators has indeed increased compared to this time last year. We benchmarked three key words to compare:
- ‘Swab’ (for diagnosis)
This pie chart shows the Share of Voice: what proportion of the total media coverage analysed included each keyword.
- ‘Ventilator’ was included in 22% of all media coverage analysed. It is important to remember that ‘ventilator’ doesn’t exclude home appliances from the searches, so a few anomalies could have slipped into this count.
- ‘Vaccine’ is unsurprisingly the winner, with over 75% of the total Share of Voice. A lot of the news stories now are asking the question: when do we relax the restrictions? Do we wait for a vaccine? Also, a number of research groups have COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline, so some of the stories have been explaining this to the general public.
Let’s compare ‘ventilator’ to this time last year, in 2019.
We want to make sure we are not mistaken of the impact of the pandemic on its Share of Voice. As predicted, ‘ventilator’ has a smaller Share of Voice than now. Only 9%.
So, let’s benchmark a few respiratory manufacturers.
We compared four companies who manufacture respiratory devices over the past 30 days in Australian media:
- ResMed: An Australian company that manufactures a range of ventilators and bilevel devices; both are indicated for home and hospital use and have the flexibility for use in various clinical scenarios to support patients with respiratory insufficiency and failure. Their ventilators provide invasive or non-invasive ventilation.
- Grey Innovation: The Melbourne-based company normally manufactures med tech devices and has recently received a grant from the Victorian Government to lead a Victorian industry consortium to build 2000 ventilators. The program will use a certified mechanical ventilator design from another medical device company under licence for production in Victoria.
- Medtronic: This company recently made the headlines after sharing design specifications for their ventilators with manufacturers from other industries. They have increased the production of their Puritan Bennett™ Ventilators, which they manufacture in Galway, Ireland.
- Philips: In addition to their respiratory portfolio of invasive and non-invasive ventilators, the Dutch company has released a new, smaller ventilator called the Philips Respironics E30 ventilator to fill the Global shortage. They have also partnered with Dutch airline KLM to organise freight flights to carry their healthcare products to the USA and China.
The exact search terms used in our media monitoring search:
- ‘Philips’ + ‘Ventilator’
- ‘Medtronic’ + ‘Ventilator’
- ‘ResMed’ + ‘Ventilator’
- ‘Grey Innovation’ + ‘Ventilator’
First, we looked at the Share of Voice for these four companies over the past month.
ResMed features in the most news stories in Australia, with over 75% of the coverage this manufacturer. Grey Innovation and Medtronic both have ~15% of the Share of Voice. It is interesting to note that the local manufacturer has overtaken Global med tech giant Philips.
Read more about localising your content for the Australian market here.
Here is the Media Exposure for these four companies over the past 30 days.
Recently, the Minister for Health announced that ResMed would begin manufacturing intensive care and non-invasive ventilators for local usage. This story was widely syndicated across News Corp newspapers (print and online) on March 31st, with 529 pieces of coverage on that day. Additionally, there have been a couple of smaller spikes since then. The most recent was due to a widely syndicated news story talking about Australian ‘self-sufficiency’.
The other larger spike in this graph belongs to Grey Innovation on April 9th. The news stories that day covered the Victorian grant allocated to this company to lead the manufacturing process of 2000 ventilators.
Are Australian hospitals turning to Australian manufacturers to ensure products are arriving in a timely manner, when global airlines have grounded most of their freight planes?
Now, let’s compare the Media Exposure to this time last year, in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, ventilators were not a hot topic this time last year. ResMed and Grey Innovation did not feature in a single news story between March 2019 and April 2019.
COVID-19 has been a tragic and life-changing pandemic. However, it has been an opportunity for our healthcare system to ‘think local’ when sourcing equipment and devices.
As we have seen in our analysis, ResMed has demonstrated its expertise in the manufacturing of life-saving respiratory devices. Grey Innovation will lead an industry consortium to build ventilators. This makes them a significant player in the battle against the virus.
Another local company that is directly involved in this fight is Bio Molecular Systems, who manufacture their portable Mic qPCR Hardware right here, on the Gold Coast.
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