Healthtech startups create new jobs – and put the Nordics on the map in the new industry

HealthTech Nordic last year contributed to creating 212 new jobs in the new fast-growing healthtech industry. The goal is to double the amount of new jobs in 2018.

– It usually takes a long time for startups to hire new staff, so the fact that so many news jobs have already been created is amazing – and in a new line of business, says Marianne Larsson, Director of New Industries at Innovation Skåne and Director of HealthTech Nordic.

HealthTech Nordic is a project that gathers 178 healthtech startups throughout the Nordics. In total the startups currently employ more than 500 people. It is the Nordic region’s largest collection of healthtech startups and the number is increasing continuously. The primary objective of the project is to create 700 new jobs in the region of the Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerack over a three-year period by helping startups grow and rapidly establish themselves internationally.

Startups grow and recruit

The project’s results so far show that the efforts contribute to creating new jobs:

The startups in the project in total hired 212 new people in 2017. The project’s target for the year was 100 new people. The aim is to double the number of new staff in 2018 and again double the number in the final project year 2019.

The total number of employees in the startups that are part of the project increased from 201 in January 2015 to 524 in December 2017.

More than a third, 35 %, of the startups in the project hired new staff in 2017, an increase of 7 percentage points compared to the year before.

More than half, 53 %, of the startups in the project sold products or services in 2017, an increase of 7 percentage points compared to the year before and 15 percentage points compared to 2015.

The figures are based on the startups’ financial statements. The figures refer only to startups in the project that have their head office in the Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerack region, a total of 149 startups.

”We are world leaders”

The figures highlight a trend – the new healthtech industry is booming and puts the Nordic region on the world map. Coala Life, Visiba Care and Next Step Dynamics are three examples of Nordic healthtech startups that have attracted major international attention for their innovative solutions to healthcare challenges.

– We are world leaders in the Nordic region. We have startups with new healthcare solutions that are unique and we see that several of these startups have great potential to become the healthtech equivalent to Spotify or Klarna. This is not the future, this is happening now, says Marianne Larsson.

Why the industry grows in the Nordics

The fact that the healthtech industry is booming in the Nordics is mainly due to five factors:

  • The Nordic governments as well as regions, municipalities and other authorities work purposefully towards a digitised healthcare system
  • The region features world-class medical care and research institutions
  • The region features world-class research and development in new technology
  • The availability of highly skilled workforce in software and hardware development is good
  • It is relatively easy to start up new businesses and there is a well-developed system to support new businesses and entrepreneurs

Combined with an increasing global demand for high quality modern healthcare, this makes the future for Nordic healthtech industry look very promising.

The growth of the healthtech industry not only create new jobs, the development also means improved healthcare services. The new digital healthcare solutions that the startups provide make healthcare more accessible for patients, while healthcare professionals get access to improved tools enabling them to better aid more patients.