This year, the Irish Medtech Association is putting a spotlight on our innovative start-up community. This community continues to attract international attention, and strategic growth markets like connected health. Markets such as this are expected to be worth an estimated €15.5 billion in sales by 2024.
Ireland is home to nine of the world’s top 10 medtech companies. It is a strategic base for the European market, worth €110 billion. Ireland is now becoming an international leader in innovative, patient-centred medtech products and solutions to tackle changing health needs.
Patient-centred medtech products and changing needs
Healthcare spending in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) grew an estimated 2.5% in 2017. That year saw an increased demand for services with ageing populations and the rise of chronic diseases. Hospitals account for 40% of health spending. Connected health is a way to support better care pathways and empowered patients as well as tackle rising costs.
Leading a healthcare revolution
As we look to the future, we need to help small companies make it big. Medtech start-ups fuel innovation and the burgeoning connected health scene in Ireland ready to start a healthcare revolution. Additionally, 10 of the world’s top 10 biopharma and ICT companies also have a base here.
Helping small companies make it big
My top priority for this year is to drive policies and conditions to ensure entrepreneurship can thrive with as many as four out of five medtech businesses here being either start-ups or SMEs, with these businesses acting as the lifeblood of medtech innovation.
Globally, the top 30 medtech and connected health companies dominate the medtech market, accounting for 64% of the market with €226 billion in sales. Furthermore, to make Ireland one of the top 10 start-up communities in the world, we’re urging the government to focus on three key areas: create a supportive tax environment, promote better funding avenues, and help develop research talent.
Priorities for growth in connected health
Ireland is one of the best places in the world to do business, with a strong and stable business environment along with a rich pool of talent underpinned by dynamic programmes, like Skillsnet.
Now, we must in fact do more to nurture entrepreneurship. We must work with the government to make our capital gains tax more competitive to help entrepreneurs succeed. Similarly, we must support relief programmes to encourage investment, as well as ensure access to early seed funding venture capital.
With the right business environment, the connected health industry will drive growth. But it will also develop new ways to save and transform lives.