26th March 2021
“Top Disruptors in Healthcare” is the only report in Poland that comprehensively surveys the Polish medtech sector. The newest edition is supported by EIT Health InnoStars.
Poland, one of the EIT Health markets, has been noticing gradual growth of healthcare start-ups ecosystem, and medical devices for the last years. The Polish Federation of Hospitals together with EIT Health InnoStars, AstraZeneca, Google for Startups and PZU Zdrowie presented first statistical results based on the responses of almost 100 start-ups.
91% of start-ups indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their business moderately or significantly. It may also have affected the scope of their business. Compared to the last year’s report, a higher percentage of start-ups offer telemedicine solutions (52% vs. 46%) and AI (43% vs. 30%). Interestingly, there was only one start-up operating in the field of blockchain
and healthcare. This might indicate a lack or very little use of this technology for ensuring transparency and security of data processing. As the report’s data shows, the Polish medtech sector is evidently growing. As many as 61% of the respondents indicated that their organisation was either in the stage of commercialization or expansion, compared to 56% of start-ups from the previous year. Recurring sales revenue is claimed by 42% (2021 report) and 43% (2020 report) of the respondents.
Only 37% of start-ups declare the level of financing lower than PLN 1 mln, and the financing above PLN 10 mln applies to 15% of the respondents. Simultaneously, compared to the last year, almost twice as many start-ups declare financing their business from their own funds. Hospitals are the institutions that start-ups cooperate with most often (67%). Slightly more than half of the respondents cooperate with investors and only 23% and 22% declare cooperation with accelerators and incubators respectively.
Almost all respondents already operate on foreign markets or want to do so. Unfortunately, the number of start-ups with foreign sales revenues has decreased: 16% vs. 22% with a similar percentage of respondents with commercial agreements concluded with foreign clients (16% and 15%).
Comment by Mikołaj Gurdała, Innovation Manager at EIT Health InnoStars:
– The last year was particularly difficult for the medical and healthcare industry. However, we could notice a side effect of the pandemic: the unprecedented use of new technologies and digital health solutions in healthcare systems and the creation of new
open innovation products. According to the EIT Health analyses, investment funds and so-called business angels have shown significantly higher interest in start-ups developing medtech, biotech or digital health products and services. Large corporations have also been using start-up solutions, such as a virtual assistant for cancer patients, more confidently. Meanwhile, as shown by the results of Top Disruptors in Healthcare report, Polish start-ups still rely mostly on their own resources. At the same time, every second start-up declares its willingness to expand its activities to foreign markets. And this, in my opinion, is a great opportunity for the development of Polish innovations – cooperation with European organizations, and its regional clusters. In 2020, we explored the network of start-ups and key stakeholders in Poland’s healthcare system. The organisations of the highest connection rate included, among others, the National Centre for Research and Development, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development and EIT Health. More details will be presented in the final version of the report.
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