8th December 2022
In this week’s blog, we identify the main barriers to implementing MedTech innovations and provide guidance on how to overcome them.
For MedTech start-ups and innovators, the journey from concept to commercialization is a long and difficult one. The path can be fraught with barriers and challenges, from regulatory hurdles to supply chain issues. Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge is to ensure adoption and implementation across various healthcare systems.
What are some of the common barriers to implementing MedTech innovation?
1. Regulatory and reimbursement hurdles
The European Union (EU) introduced the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and In-Vitro Diagnostics Regulation (IVDR), with the aim of improving patient safety and providing greater transparency around medical devices. However, these regulations have been criticized for being too bureaucratic and expensive. This, coupled with varying reimbursement models across Member States, can lengthen product approval times for start-ups and SMEs.
2. Health system inertia to adopt new technologies
Innovation in healthcare is a learnable and teachable process. Many teams only learn by trying, requiring significant time and effort. This means it can be resource intensive to get even the most promising ideas off the ground.
3. Lack of investment
While overall venture financing in MedTech has increased 67%, MedTech investors are still shying away from unproven early-stage technologies, focusing instead of late-stage diagnostic and digital companies .
4. Skills gap
Data suggests that healthcare companies are not visible amongst the most attractive employers in the eyes of talent . Although talent shortages exist across the board, there are skillsets in digital, commercial, and innovation, where new and emerging roles are leading to exponential demand.
How is EIT Health helping to overcome these barriers?
As the largest community of health innovators in Europe, EIT Health is uniquely placed to help alleviate these barriers head-on with the help of a vibrant network of partners, stakeholders, and innovators.
1. DiGinnovation programme
The EIT Health DiGinnovation Programme helps start-ups navigate the reimbursement pathway and encourages the uptake of digital health apps by healthcare professionals and patients. Start-ups receive tailored support, the opportunity to pitch in front of industry titans, and the unique chance to receive funding for their projects.
2. Healthcare Transformation Academy
Healthcare Transformation Academy offers high-quality and affordable on-demand courses in innovation management, high-value care, digital transformation, and leadership. The courses are developed by and offered to healthcare professionals from organizations from the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA).
3. Gold Track
Powered by our operator Advise Connect Inspire (ACI), the Gold Track accelerator programme pairs promising companies with top quality advisors who immerse themselves in ideating, strategizing, and operational execution to set you on a path to success. To date, Gold Track has led to start-ups raising over €500M, securing 24 partnerships, and achieving three exits.
4. WorkInHealth Foundation
EIT Health has initiated the WorkInHealth Foundation to address the growing skills and talent gaps within the healthcare industry across Europe. Our network gives us unique power to tap into both recruiters and candidates, matching talent across the sector.
EIT Health recently sponsored MedTech Rising conference where the best of Ireland’s MedTech sector came together to talk about innovation and the power of partnerships, building R&D capacity, digital health, the potential of the ecosystem, international funding landscape, sustainability, resilient supply chains and the future of work.
We will continue to initiate conversation around these barriers, and find ways to help MedTech start-ups overcome them. Tell us what topics you are most interested in learning about through our events in 2023. Share your opinion here.
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- Deloitte, 2022. Reinvigorating medtech innovation 2022. [Online] Available at:
- Universum, 2021. World’s Most Attractive Employers 2021. [ebook] Online: Universum, pp.40, 41, 42, 43. Available at: