Barcelona, February 22, 2018. - The combination of health and mobile technology is a growing trend in Catalonia, too. This can be seen in the fact that, of the 102 Catalan companies that will have a booth at Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC), kicking off on 26 February in Barcelona, 18% (19 companies) work in the healthcare arena.
Catalan healthtech exhibitors at MWC include: Alma Medical Imaging, Ateknea Solutions, LifeVit, Centre de Visió per Computador, Datalong16, Perspectiva, Sense4Care, SensingTex, Visyon, Eurecat, i2CAT, Bioinnove, Diet Creator, DNA Family Book, IOMED, Psonrie, SEKG and Tech4freedom.
The BioRegion of Catalonia, the Catalan healthcare and life sciences sector, has a total of 110 healthtech companies working in various specializations, mainly mobile apps for health and fitness, electronic medical records and telemedicine. This subsector is still modest in size, as 86% of the companies in it are micro-enterprises and 70% have been in business less than 5 years. In 2015 and 2016 alone, more than 30 new companies were created in this sector in Catalonia: one new company every 20 days, on average. As a whole, this subsector employs nearly 700 workers and posted turnover of €62 million in 2016.
The effervescence of this sector has sparked investors' interest: in 2015-2017, Catalan healthtech companies saw €25.8 million in investment, compared to just over one million between 2012 and 2014. Some noteworthy operations from 2017 include Linkcare, a collaborative medicine platform from Hospital Clinic Barcelona that received €5 million from the Chinese fund Guangzhou Global Star Investment; online medical platform Top Doctors, which attracted €3 million from international fund Addventure; and Mint Labs (now called Qmenta), a cloud neuroimaging platform that raised €2.74 million in a round led by a family office in California.
"The healthtech subsector is a fast changing industry; new companies appear and disappear faster because their survival depends on how useful their products actually are and whether they find a place in healthcare systems," explains Biocat Director of Strategy Jordi Naval. "The companies that survive this stage have great potential and are increasingly attracting attention from international investors."
Biocat has just launched CRAASH Barcelona, a 12-week course that will train 8 research teams from Catalonia and other European countries to successfully launch innovation to market in the medical devices, diagnostics, e-health and digital health arena. Participants will be guided by expert mentors from CIMIT (Boston), the most experienced healthcare accelerator in the world. The deadline for applications to the CRAASH Barcelona program is March 11 and they must be submitted through the website.