The work for more digital healthcare solutions continues in the ambitious entrepreneurial organisation. The Danish Industry Foundation renews the agreement with Health Tech Hub Copenhagen and, with a solid saline injection of 33 million, provides a new boost to the successful work of spreading Danish health technology to the global market.
The new funds awarded by The Danish Industry Foundation are based on solid success in recent years, with Health Tech Hub Copenhagen having grown to 28 member companies that have brought digital health solutions to over 2.6 million and have over 1100 employees in total. And these are the results that must now be further built upon, says Adm. Director of The Danish Industry Foundation, Thomas Hofman-Bang: ‘Health Tech Hub Copenhagen has produced solid results in recent years, and therefore it is also with high expectations that we are now extending our support. The potential is great for digital healthcare solutions to become a significant position of strength for Denmark, and over recent years the industry has matured to an extent that the next major business successes should now be within reach. In addition, the health sector both in Denmark and on a global level is crying out for innovation. Danish health tech entrepreneurs must take advantage of this opportunity, and Health Tech Hub Copenhagen contributes to that.
Health Tech Hub Copenhagen was established in 2019 with the aim of bringing together and supporting Danish health tech startups. A lot has happened in the first four years, both in the startup ecosystem, but also in society: COVID-19 has made it all too clear how great the need is for the implementation of smart solutions on a larger scale. The healthcare system is under pressure like never before, and the pressure is only expected to grow. Digital solutions are already an important part of the pallet, but we have only utilized a very small part of their potential, "We have been very happy with the collaboration for the first 3.5 years with Industriens Fond, and we are excited to extend the collaboration and receive increased support from The Danish Industry Foundation over the next 3 years. Health Tech Hub Copenhagen's ambition is to support the development of a strong Danish health tech industry with good export opportunities for Danish companies and solutions, and we aim to contribute to creating a more digital healthcare system through the implementation of evidence-based solutions on a larger scale." says HTHC's founder and CEO Jesper Grønbæk.
A growing industry – but not without challenges
Health Tech Hub Copenhagen works one-on-one with the member companies (startups and scaleups selected based on maturity and potential), but also supports the entire ecosystem. They have mapped this ecosystem and follow it closely, so we have a clear picture of how the sector has grown in recent years. There are clear results and growth, but there are also challenges. Before a health tech company can sell their solution abroad, they must be able to achieve implementation in the home market. Therefore, a joint effort by all is crucial for the adoption of digital health solutions in the Danish healthcare system, and in Health Tech Hub Copenhagen, partners and members gather with this very goal. Partnerships with established pharma and tech companies, health organizations (both in Denmark and abroad), as well as other stakeholders and enthusiasts help to put scaling the implementation of digital health solutions on the agenda.
Big ambitions for the new phase
"We have been lucky to have assembled a strong team who together have created a strong community and some great results. But there are still many challenges, and with the now approved phase 2 of HTHC, the team behind it also has great ambitions", says Jesper Grønbæk. "In addition to increasing domestic market traction and supporting the companies' global ambitions, we must focus on three specific areas. There must be greater diversity in health tech, as there are far too few female entrepreneurs. There must be a focus on data security and cybersecurity when health data is used. And last, but not least, we must pay more attention to sustainability and how digital solutions can help create a more sustainable healthcare system.”
One of the companies that have been involved from the start is Injurymap. Their app was developed by Danish specialist doctors, and provides the user with reliable, effective and accessible rehabilitation. CEO Ulrik Borch says: "HTHC is a place where we feel at home as ambitious health tech entrepreneurs. Here we are part of a community of talented startups that resemble us, and we have access to a huge network of relevant experts and investors. It makes us smarter, opens new doors for us and inspires us to make better decisions. In addition, HTHC plays an important role in communicating how health tech can help solve the major challenges faced by the healthcare system. It takes a significant effort to establish a good dialogue between startups and all the stakeholders in the healthcare system, and here HTHC has established itself as a strong ambassador and assembly point for our dialogue with politicians, authorities, health professionals, etc.
Another member company, Ward 24/7 is revolutionizing the surveillance and monitoring of patients in hospitals with an AI solution. According to CEO Betina Lindhard Langemark, their membership in HTHC has been critical for the company: “Without this environment, we might not be here at all. You get many things through Health Tech Hub Copenhagen: for example good ideas, sparring and critical information that you can't get anywhere else. When you work with innovation, you create something new that no one else has heard of before. But here we can spar with people like us about everything: board, investors, support schemes... If I didn't hear about the possibility of a covid loan from another CEO at the time, Ward 24/7 might not have survived. I am very grateful to the team around HTHC: they help remove the worst barriers and fight for widespread implementation of health technology. They are available for sparring and have an extensive network. The flexibility that HTHC offers is important when you, as an entrepreneur, are busy and your business is growing. Here there are both good physical settings, professional support, and ample opportunities for exposure through participation in events and conferences. The rigid public framework does not accommodate innovation very well, it lacks agility and flexibility, therefore there is a need for initiatives such as HTHC. We as a society need to be brave and adopt digital health solutions easier, faster and on a larger scale. There must be more risk-taking capital available, and we must have a common political agenda. Initiatives such as HTHC are crucial to reaching our goal."
Khora VR uses virtual reality for the treatment and prevention of mental disorders. CEO Simon Lajboschitz says: "We are very happy to have access to strong professional advisers, and to be able to increase our network through membership in HTHC. We have clearly gained more visibility within health tech in Denmark. One of our biggest challenges is in going from research project to implementation. There are some pools where you cannot find smaller implementation budgets at all, only large research budgets. HTHC has, among other things, helped us become part of the big "healthy weight" initiative started by the government's growth team, and introduced us to the world's largest hospital system, Texas Medical Center, which we now have as our first US client. We wouldn't have gotten these customers without HTHC.”