Month: November 2019

New study: Empowering Nordic healthtech solutions rapidly changing healthcare worldwide

New research shows that Nordic healthtech companies providing solutions fueling a paradigm shift in healthcare are increasing their international sales rapidly. The new digital solutions part of HealthTech Nordic empower patients and healthcare professionals which leads to lower costs as well as better health and higher quality of care worldwide.

– Empowering a patient through healthtech means he or she can take greater control of his or her own situation. For healthcare professionals and the healthcare system as a whole, the new digital tools enable efficiency, proactiveness and a higher quality of healthcare. It’s a paradigm shift what is happening in the Nordics, but it’s also spreading internationally, says Marianne Larsson, Director of HealthTech Nordic at Innovation Skåne.

A two-wheeled wheelchair that runs on just about anything, a device used at home or on the go which provides vital heart data in 60 seconds and an electronic health record system specially designed for African hospitals. Those are examples of empowering healthtech solutions by AddMovement, Coala Life and MedCardApps, three HealthTech Nordic member companies growing fast internationally.

HealthTech Nordic is one of the world’s largest communities for healthtech companies, currently existing of 268 member companies. New research on the members shows that the companies rapidly are growing international because of their innovative digital solutions improving care for patients as well as making work better for healthcare professionals. Healthcare urgently needs digitization to cope with growing numbers of patients and increasingly strained budgets. The demand for the new solutions enabling this paradigm shift has the HealthTech Nordic member companies selling on all continents but Antarctica. Major markets outside of the Nordics are the UK, Germany and the USA.

– The Coala Heart Monitor simply makes life easier for people, by analyzing the heart in real-time wherever you are. We’ve noticed an increasing demand for empowering healthtech solution, in Sweden as well as internationally. Digital solutions are now such a natural part of society and we have come to expect them also in healthcare, says Dan Pitulia, CEO of Swedish healthtech company Coala Life.

– The Nordics have become a hotbed for digital healthcare innovations. Mainly because we already had world-class medical care and research institutions as well as cutting edge development of new technologies and a highly skilled workforce. We’re expecting the healthtech equivalent to previous Nordic unicorns such as Spotify and Klarna to emerge as the healthtech market is growing more mature, says Marianne Larsson, Director of HealthTech Nordic at Innovation Skåne.

About the study 

Research findings on the HealthTech Nordic member companies: 

  • Number of jobs created 2017-2019:

  Eastern Denmark Southern Norway South Sweden West Sweden Total
2019 43 70 157 40 310
2018 56 78 72 23 229
2017 63 31 98 20 212
Total 162 179 327 83 751

Would the 751 jobs relate to one single company it would be one of the largest in the Nordics.

Figures for 2017 and 2018 are based on annuals reports. Figures for 2019 are based on survey results as the annuals reports for the year is not yet available.

  • Continues a rapid international expansion in 2019
  • Reach 3 546 919 users and 727 428 paying customers worldwide
  • Close to a third, 30 %, of the member companies report international sales
  • Currently sell on all continents but Antarctica, main markets outside of the Nordics are UK, Germany and USA
  • Are pleased with the support from HealthTech Nordic, and especially highlight the possibility to a high-quality network and valuable help to grow their businesses
  • Estimated tax revenues equals (189 000 x 3 x 751)/2 = 212,9 MSEK over three years. The estimate is based on the 751 jobs being created continuously and linear over the three years, meaning some jobs have generated taxes for a long time while some only just begun. Tax is calculated based on an employee salary before taxes of 300 000 SEK a year and municipal tax of 31 % and payroll tax at 32 %. Taxes per job created equals 300 000 x (0,31+0,32) = 189 000 SEK a year.

The study consists of two parts, telephone interviews with company representatives and research based on the company’s annual reports. The study includes the 199 companies located in the Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerack-region, meaning southern Norway, eastern Denmark and south-western Sweden. In total the HealthTech Nordic community consists of 268 startups. The response rate for the telephone interviews were 69 %. The study was led by Associate Professor Mikael Hilmersson.

Image: To the left, Coala Life’s Heart Monitor. The map to the right depicts countries (highlighted in blue) where HealthTech Nordic member companies are selling internationally, not including the respective companies’ domestic market.

HealthTech Nordic has been awarded the European Commission’s European Enterprise Promotion Award

–  The award is yet another acknowledgment that the public funds we use, including EU funds, are used wisely and that also EU see the project’s fantastic results – the many jobs created by the member companies and their contribution to better health in the Nordics as well as internationally, says Margareta Wallentén, project manager for HealthTech Nordic at Innovation Skåne.

European Enterprise Promotion Award awards the best European projects which support startups and entrepreneurship. Projects from all over Europe compete in six categories. HealthTech Nordic competed and won in category four, Supporting the Internationalization of Business. This year’s awards were presented during a ceremony late Tuesday in Helsinki, Finland. The European Commission’s European Enterprise Promotion Award has run continuously since 2006.

Already in July this year, the The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) announced that HealthTech Nordic had won the national Swedish award which preceded the nomination for the European competition.


The picture: Margareta Wallentén, project manager for HealthTech Nordic at Innovation Skåne, and Jennifer Grönqvist, business advisor HealthTech Nordic and Sahlgrenska Science Park, receiving the award in Helsinki.

The HealthTech Nordic Conference 2019

The fully booked HealthTech Nordic Conference raised beyond all expectations. 200 guests were given presentations of international outlooks, open innovation platforms, possibilities and paradigm shifts for the public healthcare sector and panel discussions by an astonishing line up of speakers.

The HealthTech Nordic Conference was organized November 19th, in Copenhagen by HealTech Nordic, Invest In Skåne, Cobis, Norway HealthTech, Sahlgrenska Science Park and Smile Incubator, in order to showcase the Nordic healthtech expansion onto new international markets. Leading to vast improvements in healthcare – better quality and accessibility, proactive solutions, cost reduction and improved patient experience and working conditions for professionals.

The conference was held in conjunction with HealthTech Nordic Investor Forum where selected Nordic HealthTech startups, with strong international ambitions and world-class scalable solutions, and European investors, with interest in HealthTech, meet. The aim was to establish relevant contacts that can grow to fruitful relationships leading to funding for growth.

The HealthTech Nordic Conference boasted an impressive program highlighting the HealthTech Nordic community of 247 startups, of which 30% are selling internationally and reaching 3,5 million users worldwide.

The conference was broadcast live and can be watched here.

Here are the highlights of the day:

Investor outlook, panel discussion and trend spotting by Fredrik Lindqvist, Invest in Skåne, Ekaterina Gianelli Inventure, Ignasi Heras Nina Capital and Patrik Sobocki Industrifonden. “The Nordics represents the top of the top – we’re very good at innovating”, Patrick Sobocki on why the Nordics are world leaders in HealthTech.

Distinguished panel with Endre Sandvik Oslo Kommun, Sofia Gerward Region Skåne/Innovation Skåne, Agneta Granström formerly Region Norrbotten and Fredrik Koffner Cuviva sharing possibilities for the public sector in healthcare and healthtech. A vital part of empowering patients and care professionals to improve health. See full panel discussion on how digital solutions change the life of patients in the video:

Sara Emond from United Nations Office for Project – Global Innovation Centrer presented why they are establishing a global innovation ecosystem and how startups can be part of changing the world via the UN. The first innovation challenge will be published November 22 at

“The problem is that our current systems are old and lack functions” Pelle Johnsson Region Skåne on why the regions is creating a new health system with Cerner to improve health of region inhabitants and improve working conditions for healthcare professionals. He also listed the possibilities with AI for the future of public healthcare:

  • help predict risk
  • turn verbal information and free text into structured, coded data
  • interpret images within morphology
  • improve clinical decision support systems
  • connect to patient’s in everyday situations
  • maybe transform into being “The new Art of Medicine”

Carolina Wallenius Cerner presented two trends of the future at the HealthTech Nordic Conference: democratization of knowledge and openness of ecosystems. “Healthcare is too important to stay the same” said Caroline and referred to Cerner and Innovation Skånes collaboration. They are creating new possibilities for startups to scale internationally through open plattforms (SE). See the full presentation in the video:

The conference was designed to give startups the possibility to demonstrate their products during mingel breaks. Visitors and investors were welcomed to test, discuss functions and give feedback to the products that were showcased.

The conference highlighted international growth by giving successful international Nordic startups the opportunity to present their perspectives, both successes and adversities. International perspectives were given from:

  • US by Dan Pitulia and Philip Sidberg Coala Life and Kristil Håland JodaCare
  • India by Dinesh Chaturvedi Cogant Consulting
  • Netherlands by Karthik Srinivasan Next Step Dynamics
  • Brazil by Charlotta Tönsgård Kind
  • Canada by Kathrine Myhre Norway Health Tech
  • UK by Kim Baden-Kristensen Brain+
  • Peru by Aldo Vermiglio Innovation Skåne

In conclusion they recommended startups to choose the right market for the business and get to know it. The Nordic market is small, so think and act global from the beginning in order to scale rapidly. One of the most vital parts is to build a team with the right people – both in the Nordics and at the international market. See all international perspectives in the video below.

The HealthTech Nordic Investor Forum enabled 200 meetings between startups and investors during the day. It conducted intense networking – with a combination of investor and startup pitches and one-to-one meetings.“Like a dinner table with no food or drinks” said Fredrik Lindqvist, Invest in Skåne, when summarizing the the Investor Forum.

The HealthTech Nordic conference ended with ” The world’s perspective on the Nordics” by Michael Booth, journalist and author. “For foreigners it’s like a dog looking at the TV, they see things moving around but they don’t understand how it works” said Michael on how people outside of the Nordics view healthcare in the region. See Michaels take on the Nordic stereotypes – sisu, lagom, hygge, consensus and oil – and you will hopefully laugh as much as the participants did.