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Bioengineering and digital health are the two main candidates to lead the healthcare market in Catalonia in the short term. The former will exceed $600 billion by 2025 and digital health will be close to $200 billion. This is according to the Technology Trends Analysis 2022-2025 report prepared by ACCIÓ with contributions from Biocat and other entities such as Eurecat and Lavola, which points out the main trends that companies will have to take into account in order to be prepared for the future.

The report also identifies five other technologies that frame the present and will shape the future of the healthcare sector: omics, new drug designs, vaccines, Point of Care Testing (POCT) and wearables. All of these will have a major impact on the healthcare industry, industrial and food and chemical systems, energy and resources. 

The Technology Trends Analysis identifies a total of 50 technologies in 13 areas to analyze those that will have the highest value in 2025. All of them are segmented into four strategic focal points: health, digital society, industrial resilience and, as a new feature of this second edition, green transformation. 


During the official presentation of the study, Biocat Scientific and International Relations Director Montserrat Daban spoke about the two healthcare areas covered in the report: emerging therapies and medical technologies. Regarding the former, Daban highlighted the value of CAR-Ts, non-industrial manufacturing technologies that allow good curative alternatives for specific and personalized treatment in patients for whom conventional options do not work. "The first European CAR-T therapy to receive priority designation by the European regulatory agency was created in Catalonia". 

Regarding medical technologies, Biocat Scientific and International Relations Director stated one of the main challenges facing the Catalan ecosystem: the adoption of these technologies in the system. "We have to work on the regulation and reimbursement mechanism to facilitate the integration of these solutions and make them available to patients. A type of fast-track already used in Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and soon in France. This is a proposal for Catalonia that we advanced last month in this post.

Sustainability, a global challenge that will shape future trends

Montserrat Daban shared a panel with Eulàlia Miralles, Innovation and Digital Director of Anthesis Lavola and Daniel Casellas, Scientific Director of Eurecat. Jordi Aguasca, director of the Technology Transformation and Disruption Unit of ACCIÓ moderated the session, which was attended by more than 200 participants.

All three agreed that climate change is one of the main global trends and challenges that companies will have to manage in order to be more competitive in the immediate future. As far as the healthcare sector is concerned, Daban explained that the sector has a complex interaction with climate change. "On the one hand, because of the effects that global warming has on people's health and, on the other, because of the large carbon footprint it generates." 

However, Eulàlia Miralles stated that in recent years sustainability has gone from being an "irrelevant" issue to being a "central and critical issue" in order to move forward in the company. In this sense, Daniel Casellas went a step further: "Companies must not reduce pollution, but must improve the environment. And that can only happen by transforming their business model".

The participants highlighted other future trends such as digitalization, population growth, resource scarcity, healthcare in general and industrial resilience.

A good wind of change for technology transfer

it does not pass the mark of making scientific knowledge available to the business fabric". However, the participants were optimistic about this challenge and foresee a positive trend in the coming years. "In fact, we have identified it," advanced Montserrat Daban, alluding to the data presented in the 2021 BioRegion of Catalonia Report. "During 2021, and despite the pandemic, innovation indicators have continued to grow. In the same way as it has done in terms of startup creation, where one in four has been a spinoff".

Daniel Casellas and Eulàlia Miralles are also optimistic, but warn that there is still work to be done. "Although there is more interaction between the various stakeholders every day, the relationship between companies and universities must be even more intimate," said Miralles. According to Casellas, this could be overcome "if the European model of including scientists in companies was followed".

As conclusions to be highlighted from the table, which also Daban pointed out, "all the technologies covered in the report have an impact on the healthcare sector" and "Catalonia is working on the enabling technologies that are key in the so-called deeptech". Finally, the panel's recommendation for the companies in attendance was to ask themselves how technology impacts their business, both positively and negatively, and to consider their strategy in this regard with an eye to the future and the rapid advance of knowledge. 

If you were unable to follow the session live, you can watch it here


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