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Future of Healthcare Q1 2022

Ireland’s ambition to shape the future of global health

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Chainarong Prasertthai

Sinead Keogh

Head of Sectors and Director, Irish MedTech Association, IBEC

Ireland is already home to approximately 200 companies engaging in digital health. To help the industry here achieve its potential we are calling for a national strategy.

Ireland is a popular base for life sciences companies, it is home to 450 medtech companies including nine of the world’s top 10, more than 100 pharma companies including all of the top 10 and more than 900 tech companies, again including all of the top 10 having a base here. With sales of €15.7 billion forecast in digital health alone by 2024, and strong growth projections year on year, it’s an attractive area to drive competitive advantage for Ireland.

The value of adopting a more holistic approach to healthcare has been highlighted over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic with rising spending pressures and greater demand for international collaboration between both governments and businesses to provide access to vital care.

Learning from leading economies in digital health

Research on international trends in digital health reveals that governments are aggressively investing in innovation to not only to compete, but also to tackle emerging healthcare needs. In Europe, France is investing €7 billion in an impressive innovation strategy for 2030. The aim is to make it a global destination for digital health R&D.

Further afield, Israel has grown its lead as a location of choice for digital health with supportive policies to ensure that the right business environment is in place to bring key stakeholders together to develop disruptive technologies.

In Europe, France is investing €7 billion in an impressive innovation strategy for 2030.

Advocating for an ambitious national strategy

To help Ireland achieve its potential, the Irish Medtech Association, along with Technology Ireland and BioPharmaChem Ireland are advocating for the Government to develop a national industrial health tech strategy, led by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment. It needs an appropriate appointee put in place in the department to oversee and implement this strategy which would operate in a similar fashion to Ireland’s Industry 4.0 Strategy 2020-2025.

Equipping Ireland’s world class talent to compete

To ensure sustainable progress not only do we need the right policies, but Ireland also needs world class talent that can stay ahead of both the latest technology and business trends. That is why the Connected Health Skillnet has led the development of a first-of-its-kind ‘Future Skills Needs Analysis of the Digital Health Sector in Ireland to 2025’ which will be launched this year.

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