The number one destination for US tech firms with nine of the top ten companies having operations in Ireland

TechIreland’s database features 470 indigenous Health Tech businesses and over 69 multinationals. Health Tech is one of our most important tech sectors, alongside Enterprise Software and FinTech.

In fact, Ireland is probably the best place in the world today for a healthcare-focussed, technology start-up. We are the number one destination for US tech firms with nine of the top ten companies having operations in Ireland. And we are also the second-largest exporter of medical devices in Europe. Ireland is home to nine of the world’s ten largest pharmaceutical companies and we are the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the EU. These world-class companies across technology and healthcare, together with academia and government-supported research centres, have created an unrivalled talent pool. And the sector is widely dispersed, with significant operations in nearly every county of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Covid has underlined the importance of the sector and has contributed to significant growth of exports and employment. Irish HealthTech companies raised over €388 million in the first half of this year, up from €248 million in the same period last year.

Ireland is now one of
Europe’s most important
health tech hubs, with
450 companies creating
some of the most
innovative software
applications and
solutions in the sector.

Ireland’s strong infrastructure of life sciences research is creating new commercial opportunities with innovations in health, MedTech, and biotech. The pace of change and innovation in the sector is astounding and has only been accelerated by the events of the last 18 months. Most health tech businesses in Ireland are engaged in R&D that involves data analysis. Health tech is a sector where innovations rarely operate as standalone systems. Sharing data with other systems and
devices is essential to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes. And there is no shortage of data for them to work with. The Irish MedTech industry is increasingly making use of advances in cloud computing and miniaturisation as well as the pervasiveness of smart devices to collect data, including real-time monitoring of patients’ health. However, difficulties with exchanging and using data between different systems and devices can inhibit clinical acceptance and market potential with data often being stored in multiple silos and in different formats and standards. And the challenge will only increase with the increasing use of IoT and related cyber security challenges. The extent to which systems and devices can exchange and interpret shared data is known as “interoperability”. Ground-breaking AI applications, for instance, can deliver targeted and rapid insights to clinicians. Yet the aptitude of AI and machine learning will always depend on the quality and seamless exchange of the underlying data. Only by concentrating on this data management and ensuring that new applications can interoperate with existing solutions, can AI become a reality.

Ireland is the best place in the world for a healthcare-focussed technology startup. Our unique ecosystem of Irish and multinational MedTech and pharma companies and our collaborative and integrated network of research centres, clinical leaders and patient advocacy agencies have created a world-class research infrastructure and an unrivalled talent pool that is attracting significant investor interest in Irish start-ups.

  • Dublin-based OneProjects is a prime example of how this synergy between technology and healthcare expertise can result in revolutionary treatments. This Trinity spinout uses cutting edge, real-time imaging systems to deliver complex treatments for cardiac arrhythmias. They recently closed a Series A funding round of €11m led by our fund, alongside European and Irish investors. OneProjects’ novel imaging platform has the potential to transform how Atrial Fibrillation, a common and debilitating heart condition, is treated and significantly improve the quality of life for millions of patients.
  • Galway-based Tympany Medical are also using state-of-the-art imaging approaches to improve treatments for people across the globe. Tympany is developing next-generation endoscopic vision technology to enable complex surgeries. The platform was invented in the NUI Galway prior to spinning out and raising a Seed round led by our fund.
  • Rather than focussing on disease treatment, Output Sports and Spectricity are applying deep technology to optimise overall health and fitness. Output Sports have developed a wearable sensor with data analytics to monitor strength and conditioning and optimise training and recovery programmes. The system, which was developed at UCD’s INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics, is currently being used with some of the largest sporting organisations in the world, including Premier League Football teams, the NBA and numerous national Olympic squads. Spectricity, a Belgian tech company with researchers in UCD, is building hyperspectral sensor systems to create advanced health monitoring platforms which will shape the future of health wearables.
  • Ireland’s health tech innovation isn’t just confined to the health of humans! Cork-based ApisProtect is commercialising a data collection and analysis system that was developed in University College Cork to monitor the health of honey bees, maximising the output for producers and supporting the key role these pollinators have on the health of our environment.
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