Skip to main content

For the first time, the leading stakeholders that make up the Health System in Catalonia will participate jointly with a space at the 4YFN, which will be held from February 26 to 29 as part of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. 

Called the ‘Catalonia Health Innovation Ecosystem Pavilion’, Biocat and the Fundació TIC Salut Social will lead a stand measuring 50 m2 in conjunction with ACCIÓ, the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia (AQuAS), the Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS), the Catalan Union of Hospitals (UCH), the Health and Social Consortium of Catalonia (CSC), the Catalan Association of Health Entities (ACES), the Catalan Association of Care Resources (ACRA) and the Catalan Third Social Sector Platform (M4Social). With this alliance, the different organizations are situating Catalonia's health sector on the international scene. 

In the words of the Biocat CEO Robert Fabregat, “this event is the largest showcase of innovative digital health proposals and reveals the need to facilitate the development and adoption of the most strategic innovation which is a priority for the system, which transforms it and makes it more resilient, potentially improves people’s health and wellbeing, and contributes to the country's development and social and economic progress.” Biocat is working on this initiative, a program that will begin to be tested in the forthcoming months.

Over the course of four days, the space, located in the new pavilion devoted exclusively to health, Hall 8.0, will host more than 35 activities on the sector's future challenges and how to take advantage of the vast potential of digital health to improve healthcare, diagnosis, and treatment. A broad range of panel discussions and sessions will be held with health professionals, who will address topics like the adoption of innovation in the Health System, personalized medicine initiatives, the interoperability of health data between public and private centers, the integration of drones into the health system, and virtual primary care, among other sessions. 

The director of the Fundació TIC Salut Social, Joan Guanyabens, stresses that “the event is a unique chance to internationally share cutting-edge, world-class tech initiatives and projects that we are developing not only the Health System of Catalonia but also in society.” In this sense, the activity program also includes specific sessions on projects that use artificial intelligence to improve social care, as well as the advances of the Integrated Social and Health Care Agency.

In addition to the activities, 12 companies will exhibit in this space, which they will use as a base for networking, as well as to present their new developments, advances, and latest milestones from the past year. They are emerging companies specializing in artificial intelligence and data analysis, digital medical devices, assistive robots, and others. These companies are: Abzu Barcelona, Biel Glasses, Biosfer Teslab, Bsure Medical, Flomics Biotech, Mefood Omics, Methinks Software, Nanodecal, Time is Brain, Trialing Health, YASYT & Zoundream.

The director of the Catalan Agency for Health Quality and Evaluation, Sandra García Armesto, stresses that "the Catalan innovation ecosystem has made a very strong commitment to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies and artificial intelligence in the health system, with discovery, validation and evaluation cycles, all adapted to the maturity of the solution at each stage of its development cycle". This meeting, he adds, "is a great opportunity to share this experience with the global sector and to highlight the value of a country's model of promoting innovation in public services together with private initiative". 

4yfn 2024

Digital health, a rising subsector despite the global scene 

In 2023, digital health companies have rallied by raising 63 million euros, close to their historical high in 2021, when they raised 64 million euros. Unlike other international markets, where investments have dropped, the financing of Catalan companies has risen 61% over the previous year, according to the BioRegion of Catalonia 2023 Report promoted by Biocat since 2009 and presented this February in Barcelona.

The subsector is made up of 212 companies with €475 million in turnover. It is growing at a faster pace than the others, despite being the youngest group of companies. In fact, each year approximately 20 new digital health startups are founded in Catalonia, and 95% of these companies have been created in the past ten years. 

The main types of technology these companies use are artificial intelligence (with techniques like machine learning and deep learning), virtual reality, big data, augmented reality, and 3D printing. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality have received more investment than other types of technology. In fact, the 85 healthcare startups and scaleups in Catalonia that apply AI raised more than €73 million in 2023, the highest figure in history, which has also shown steady growth in the past five years. 

At this time of maturity in the digital health sector, a total of 70 startups and organizations within the health sector will be represented at this tenth edition of 4YFN. The health sector is thus positioning itself as one of the most representative at the event, which has doubled the amount of space devoted to health compared to the previous year and has added a separate digital health schedule.

4yfn 2024

Need more information?

Contact our team

Contact us
silvia labe 2
Silvia LabéDirector of Marketing, Communications and Competitive Intelligence
Laura Diéguez
Laura DiéguezHead of Media Relations and Content(+34) 606 81 63
Sign up for our newsletters

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and trends in the BioRegion.