Despite the pandemic – healthtech companies continue to grow rapidly, creating better health and new jobs
Posted on april 14, 2021
Companies in the healthtech industry boosted their growth in 2020 as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey of the members of the HealthTech Nordic community. The companies, for example, hired more than 200 new staff during last year and as many as 74 % of the companies plan for additional recruitments in 2021.
Unlike many other industries, HealthTech Nordic’s member companies in the healthtech industry have continued to increase the number of new hires in 2020 and the companies are looking positively to the future. A third of the member companies in HealthTech Nordic’s survey state that the pandemic had a positive impact on their business during the year, mainly because the ongoing pandemic further accelerated the demand for digital healthcare solutions.
– The healthtech industry is growing rapidly, this has been the case for several years. The increase in 2020 is therefore logical, despite the impact of the pandemic. But unlike previous years, a larger number of companies are now growing, which indicates that digital health solutions are beginning to have a greater impact on the market and that customers are increasingly using the new services. Based on the results we’ve seen in this, as well as in previous, surveys I believe that we’ll see continued strong growth in the industry in the coming years, says Mikael Hilmersson, Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, who has conducted the survey on behalf of HealthTech Nordic.
On average, the companies that employed in 2020 employed 4,3 new people. Most new hires during the year had the Swedish companies Sidekick Health and Joint Academy with 32 and 30 new employees respectively.
NORDIC HEALTHTECH IMPROVE HEALTH WORLDWIDE
The survey shows that the Nordic healthtech companies currently are present in 22 countries and that the solutions are used by close to 2,5 million people – the companies contribute to health improvements all over the world. However, according to the survey, it’s the increased demand in companies Nordic home markets that has driven growth in 2020, not the international demand that previous years’ surveys have shown.
– The industry’s characteristics means companies growth takes time. It seems that most companies build themselves up in their home market for a few years before expanding internationally. In this industry, so-called “born digital” or “born global” companies are, simply put, unusual. It takes time to break through in the healthtech sector, the companies that are gaining momentum now had their first sales between three and five years ago, says Mikael Hilmersson, Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, who has conducted the survey on behalf of HealthTech Nordic.
However, there are exceptions. In last year, Danish member company Miiskin reported the largest international sales with sales in 130 countries and with over 12 000 paying customers, mainly in the US, the UK and Australia. The company, which provides an app that helps users track skin changes, has since its inception established an average of sales in 26 new countries per year. The Swedish companies OnDosis and Remente also report comparatively large international sales in 2020.
THE SURVEY IN NUMBERS
- 208 new jobs created in 47 companies in 2020, the companies stated, of which 63 new jobs in Skåne, 71 in Region Västra Götaland, 59 in eastern Denmark and 15 in southern Norway
- 74 % of the companies stated that they will recruit in 2021
- 45 % of the companies reported international sales in 2020, sales take place in a total of 22 countries and on all continents except Antarctica
- The largest international markets in 2020, according to the survey, were another Nordic country, followed by the US, the UK and Germany
- The companies reported a total of 72 437 paying customers
- The companies reported a total of 2 430 166 users of their products and services
- 35 % of the companies stated that the pandemic had a positive impact on the company in 2020, 55 % stated that the pandemic had a negative impact and 10 % stated that they were not affected at all by the pandemic
- 81 % of the companies stated that they are satisfied, very satisfied or that the support provided by the community has been instrumental during the year. Opportunities for networking, coaching and financial support was valued the most according to the survey. In general, most satisfied with the support are member companies that are more developed than the average.
Survey method: Of HealthTech Nordic’s total of 232 member companies, the 164 companies based in the border region of Öresund, Kattegat and Skagerrak, ie in Skåne and Västra Götaland in Sweden, eastern Denmark and southern Norway, were surveyed. The companies were surveyed by telephone. A total of 104 member companies participated, which resulted in a response rate of 6 7%. The results have been compiled by Mikael Hilmersson, Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, on behalf of HealthTech Nordic.
The survey of HealthTech Nordic’s members has been conducted every spring since 2018. The survey is supplemented every autumn by a review of all member companies’ annual reports, the growth figures from the survey then usually increase significantly.
About HealthTech Nordic
HealthTech Nordic is the largest network for healthtech companies in the Nordics. The majority of the member companies are startups. By accelerating the development of the member companies and helping them to scale their solutions globally, HealthTech Nordic aim to contribute to create 1000 new jobs in the healthtech industry in the Nordic region between 1 January 2020 and 30 September 2022 and to contribute to create better health globally. The network has existed since 2017, during the first three years until December 2019, the member companies in the network created 751 new jobs (which exceeded the goal of 700).
HealthTech Nordic is a collaboration between six Nordic innovation actors: Innovation Skåne, Invest in Skåne, Sahlgrenska Science Park and SmiLe Incubator in Sweden and Health Tech Hub Copenhagen in Denmark and Norway Health Tech. HealthTech Nordic is partly financed by Interreg-Öresund-Kattegatt-Skagerrak, the European regional development fund.