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55% of healthcare startups see pandemic as enabler for innovation: Medtronic

Meanwhile, talent recruitment was seen as the biggest challenge.

Healthcare technology company Medtronic has unveiled the white paper Asia Pacific's Healthcare Technologies Ecosystem: Enhancing Start-up and SME success during the first hybrid Medtronic Open Innovation Conference in Singapore. The event was attended by Minister of State Alvin Tan.

The research showed 55% of respondents cited COVID-19 as an enabler of innovative ideas rather than a detractor. As a reflection of this innovation boom, Medtronic saw overwhelming applications from 323 startups and business enterprises from 46 countries across the Asia Pacific and beyond vying for a potential collaboration with Medtronic valued up to $271,000 (US$200,000).

The survey also saw a combination of better government support (38%), greater collaboration with the private sector (37%), increased funding availability (36%), and cross-learning platforms between organizations (35%) as the drivers of innovation acceleration. This led to the observation that a government-led multi-sectoral collaborative approach was a key enabler for driving innovations.

Whilst not all findings were a surprise, the scale of some findings did highlight the magnitude of some issues facing the healthcare sector overall. One such example was the overwhelming response citing recruitment as the leading cause of concern for over 80% of startups surveyed. This echoes the World Health Organization's prediction of a global shortfall of 14.5 million healthcare workers by 2030.

"Medtronic takes the accountability to lead the conversation and encourage more meaningful collaborations across the innovation ecosystem. That's why we launched the open innovation platform and the conference. It's great to see how all the stakeholders come forward to share their perspectives and are committed to working together for better healthcare. We also appreciate all the idea submissions and congratulate the final winners. More importantly, I hope that our joint efforts will lead to many new and improved solutions to meet the region's unique healthcare needs," said Mediatronic president Chris Lee. 

This first-ever study on the region's healthcare technology sector involves inputs from 150 executives from startups and business enterprises in APAC. The paper also includes in-depth interviews with several industry leaders from the healthcare technology sector, as well as from representatives from companies in the technology sector such as SAP.iO Foundries and Microsoft Health.

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