What led to an inexorable growth of health technology startups and why Finland is in top 3 health technology ecosystems in the world?
In only a few years, Finnish medical care has grown from a somewhat underdeveloped health care system into a highly praised one globally. Every citizen of this country has right to use their health care services, yet the total per capita medical care costs when compared is lesser than most countries. Lets explore why Finland is in top 3 health technology ecosystems in the world?
In spite of the recent equity issues, Finns are very contented with their health care services. Currently, the Finnish medical health care system looks like those in other Nordic countries. Moreover, the Finland health care system is more mixed and decentralized in its financing than these countries. With less than 6 million inhabitants, Finland does not leave anyone behind. Their outstanding health care is available for all.
This digital healthcare system offers high-quality, comprehensive healthcare ranging from primary to a topnotch medical care and from taking care of the newborns to the elderly ones.
Finnish public healthcare is supplemented by many private specialized medical healthcare centres, includes first-class specialists which are available for international patients who come to Finland to receive care. Taking the second place, Finland has one of the best innovative economies in the European Union which also involves their healthcare. Finland is also amongst the first countries that started health-related digitalization. Finland is also named among the three most flourishing health technology economies globally, whereas digital health is its major high-tech export.
Finland’s innovation in digital expertise comes from Nokia’s years on top of the mobile phone business globally. Since then, the Finnish ICT geniuses have flooded almost every industrial sector.
The digital health system has helped in building proper response, reducing waste, optimizing supply management in hospitals and enhancing access to healthcare from a distance. The government helped in boosting up the digital health sector by bringing together companies of various sizes and different fields, both foreign and domestic, many research institutions, hospitals, universities, investors and biobanks.
Enhancing this kind of multidisciplinary public-private collaboration is the main cause of Finland’s Health Sector growth. Also, the government provides a trustworthy environment which is a major enabler for companies and research community doing research in Finland.
In 2016, the digital Health industry was worth over $60 billion globally and has also experienced over 26% CAGR from 2017. The quick improvement in healthcare equipment together with an increase in demand for remote patient monitoring services and also more venture capitalist investments are factors that help increase the growth of digital health in Finland.
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Innovative digital health startups in Finland
Finland’s history in mobile technology and ICT has made it a leader in skilled labour and innovation. The hiring of highly educated employees is easy, as many colleges in the country are a tremendous source of talent. Corporations engaging in International businesses also benefit from the fact that the whole country is very connected to the International market and this has really helped in the growth of digital health in the country.
Since Finnish companies had already developed many innovative solutions such as wearable equipment for sports and fitness, digital startups have always been the main concern to Finland throughout the life course, the citizens responded well to digital startups when it started. The companies also admonished permanent residents to be more concerned about their own wellbeing.
The major startups in Finland”s digital healthcare system are:
- Huoleti: This is an answer for the ill or worried to connect with the municipal and get the support and help they need in any challenging life condition. Today, Huoleti is used to cover any challenge or illness of everyday life.
- Surgify: They created a new solution to protect delicate soft structure during bone cutting procedures.
- Convergentia Ltd: This is a team with knowledge in simulation-enabled solutions, innovative development and digital prototyping.Many companies believe their mechanics, their antenna of great standard and solutions to enhance their devices
- VitalSignum: This is a health technology company based in China which provides and develops remote mobile health monitoring services and solutions that are easy to use.
- Etsimo Healthcare Ltd: They are based in Turku and Helsinki, Finland. Their team has a very strong expertise in medicine, artificial intelligence and machine learning. They provide innovative solutions for personalized and holistic healthcare that covers the entire care path.
The health technology, digital health, wellbeing solutions, research-related services and life sciences are estimated to produce at the moment some 5 billion Euros as economic output annually (2.5% of Finland’s GDP). According to the industry association, digital health accounts for about half of the country’s healthcare GDP.
How are healthcare startups being Financed in Finland?
With over 120 digital health startups working the digital health market of Finland, they remain one of the top three most advanced digital health systems in the world. Maybe you have been thinking of inventing a digital startup in Finland and financing it is an issue. Bank loans, Online lending, Angel investors, Crowdfu22nding and Finnish funding agency for innovation can be an option to finance your dream.
- Venture capital funding: There are many agencies that offer funds to various startups in Finland. Some of them are Tekes, ELY Centres, Finnvera, NewCo Helsinki e.t.c. Between 2010 and 2016, More than82 startup companies have received 1.1 billion euros as funds.
- Accelerators: Accelerators assists promising startups in their early age to get them ready for the next big step, either by raising some amount of funding or entering their market. A startup named Blaast, a cloud-based mobile got 2.8 million euros in funding from an accelerator.
- Crowd Investment platforms: It offers an investment service online where entrepreneurs looking to raise funds can simply connect with investors who are ready to and invest and look for interesting growth companies. Invesdor, a crowdfunding platform in Finland have invested over 10.3 million euros in digital startup companies.
- Vigo Accelerator program: This is a fresh program introduced by the Finnish Ministry of Economy and Employment. It is used to assist the globally acclaimed Finnish innovation ecosystem.
Major Finnish digital health startups that raised capital:
GE Healthcare publicized in 2015, its plans to create a program for digital health at its headquarters in Finland. The main purpose is on technology to enhance the portable and wireless record transfer. The whole investment into the program will reach 28.5 million euros and will run 3 years. A Funding Agency In Finland (Tekes), associated with the healthcare, and supported the research program with a 10 million euro funding.
Blueprint Genetics also publicized a huge financing. It was led by the VC firm Creathor Venture. An International group of investors which include MedTech Innovation Partners (MTIP), Inventure, and Pontos Group financed Blueprint with a sum of 14 million euros.
Also, BC Platforms an inventor of the management of hereditary data solutions, got over 8 million euros in second-round funding as it plans to introduce new solutions for linking human and clinical genomic data.
Government’s role in promoting startups in Finland
The Finnish government has been a major stakeholder in the digital health market. Other stakeholders include institutions, academics, foreign investors and the over 120 Digital health innovators. Every year, the Finnish Government pours hundreds of millions into grants, investments and loans in digital startups and this help to increase its growth. As one of the most competitive economies in the globe, the country has made its business to provide startups with an easy operating atmosphere.
The Finnish government is also devoted to the long-term growth of small and medium-sized corporations. For instance, it has publicly funded organizations, which provide support to help companies grow and innovate.
Also, since Government can’t solve healthcare issues by itself, Universities in the country had help in research programs, providing talented individuals and in funding.
Finnish Regulatory System maintained good results and fortified its capital adequacy. As at 2016, Finland had 281 credit institutions which include domestic investment banks, deposit banks and subsidiaries and branches of foreign deposit banks and credit organizations. This has made it easy to access loans and grants and will help the growth of digital health startups.
Future outlook for Finnish digital health sector
Ranking steadily in the top three countries in innovation, The country remains among the most competitive economies worldwide, and with the provision of a friendly operating environment for startups. Finland is a successful start-up scene for companies especially the digital health sector.
It has recognized its forte in 4 health system: digital health, health data, clinical co-creation and medical research.
And with more of government support, investment and funding, Finland is set to be a successful country in the digital health industry.
Also, the coming together of great trends such as the request for value, modern technologies, the influence of Finnish government and a booming health economy, will surely transform the digital health sector in Finland.
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