10 European HealthTech startups to watch
Updated: Sep 3
In the lead up to this year’s GovTech Summit, each week we’ll be dissecting a new sector of the GovTech space. This week, we hear from Zoe Viner on the latest trends and some of the top European startups in HealthTech.
Across Europe, the digitisation of Healthcare is accelerating faster than ever. Thanks to Covid-19, HealthTech has now become the norm.
Europe’s HealthTech industry is young and growing fast. Sifted’s data analysis from early-stage European investor Speedinvest shows that there are 626 funded digital health companies active across Europe today, with 63% of them founded in the past five years. The UK leads European healthtech with 164 UK-based startups founded in the last decade, followed closely by the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), and then by France.
Over the past two years, the healthcare sector has experienced serious disruption and upheavals, with Covid-19 exposing many serious inadequacies in Europe’s healthcare systems. However, Covid-19 has also catalysed important changes, forcing startups and governments to redefine together, how and what type of care to deliver. This year alone, European investment in healthcare nearly doubled quarter-on-quarter (from Q1’21 at $3,615M to Q2’21 at $6,933M). As a result, the HealthTech industry is now more geographically diverse than ever, with citizens everywhere experiencing its essential, rapid advances.
PUBLIC has identified three important trends in European HealthTech, directly or indirectly caused by the pandemic.
The first is that HealthTech shifted its focus to the creation of a new suite of tools for health and social care staff. The pandemic, which exacerbated the existing strain on these workers, created an urgent need for new technology. It highlighted a greater requirement for support tools for doctors to deliver suitable and effective care under taxing conditions. For example, Patchwork in the UK launched a rostering system that freed up 100 hours of admin time per month at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospital, allowing staff to focus on other priorities, while in the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust there was a 500% staff bank increase in the first six months. Medloop in Germany and Siilo in the Netherlands are also offering the right new tools for workers to deliver proactive, holistic care whilst feeling supported in their roles.
Secondly, in the last few years there has been an increase in interest in and deployment of Mental HealthTech. Mental Health Tech is the application of technology to problems of emotional, psychological and social well-being. Mental health startups had record funding in 2020, reaching new heights of $1.3B, with interest in mental health higher than ever. In Europe, startups like Doctolib (France), which focuses on using technology to promote emotional hygiene, motivate self-care, and support those with chronic illnesses, and Mindletics which was born at the Hack The Crisis hackathon in Lithuania, and entirely funded by government, reflect a new willingness to invest in both mental and physical health on an equal footing.
Finally, thanks to an initial push from Covid and increasing awareness across governments that current health solutions were in need of reform, there has been increased engagement with different technologies providing innovative solutions for the healthcare industry. With the recent creation of the NHS COVID Pass in the UK, the EU Digital COVID Certificate in and outside of Europe, and other localised vaccination certificates (i.e. in Switzerland and Estonia), governments are relying on QR Code technology to securely share patient data and facilitate international travel.
Moreover, governments are now willingly relying on AI-based solutions, the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML) and wearables to deliver better healthcare. Evidence from CB Insights shows healthcare AI is getting more attention than ever: the number of news articles mentioning healthcare AI has jumped tenfold globally from around 300 in 2016 to around 3,000 in 2021. Thanks to new confidence in these AI-based solutions European startups are flourishing. For example, in Denmark, Corti AI won Digital Europe’s Future Unicorn Prize 2020 and in the UK, Cera, an end-to-end care delivery service, has just had the second largest European series B-round ever.
HealthTech has matured substantially across Europe throughout the pandemic. The work of the following startups has significantly raised the quality offered to society in key areas of public health. Here are 10 European HealthTech Startups to watch in 2021:
Patchwork (UK), is a digital service for frontline NHS workers. Its mission is to solve the staffing crisis by putting flexibility and humanity at the heart of staffing systems, creating better outcomes for patients, workers and managers. It provides catered timetabling services for NHS flexible workers, onboarding assistance, and a platform through which disparate NHS Trusts can communicate better.
Siilo (Netherlands) is a free, secure messaging app for healthcare professionals. Siilo has become Europe’s largest medical network with more than 275,000 users, allowing doctors to securely share knowledge and patient data.
Doctolib (France), amongst the three most-used video consultation apps in the world since the start of the pandemic, is a platform that provides online video consultations. It is now used in 65 hospitals and 167 healthcare facilities.
Mediquo (Spain), currently the leading ehealth app in Spain and Latin America, is a digital healthcare platform that manages patient consultations.
Medloop (Germany), is an integrated care management system, where doctors are able to provide more holistic, proactive care in a new remote-first environment, and patients are able to navigate their own care-pathways.
Mindletic (Lithuania) is a wellbeing programme designed to provide a mental gym for emotional balance, that promotes emotional hygiene and motivates ongoing self-care. Born out of the 2020 Hack the Crisis hackathon in Lithuania, Mindletics was fully funded by government and offered as a free service to Lithuanian citizens during the pandemic.
Doktor.se (Sweden), the second most downloaded doctor app in Europe, is a patient consultation platform that will use its recent success in funding ($29.5M) to develop a technical platform with a focus on mental health and chronic illness.
Cera (UK) is a technology driven social care provider focused on elderly care. Cera uses IoT technology, machine learning and data analytics to deliver social care services by predicting the onset of health deterioration in patients, particularly the elderly.
Corti AI (Denmark) uses AI technology to listen in on patient interactions and deliver care diagnosis. Initially focused on Cardiac Arrest diagnosis, Corti pivoted towards Covid risk-management during the pandemic. It also rolled out a new technology, the ‘orb’, in Copenhagen in 2021, that is able to diagnose at a 93% rate accuracy, and 30s faster than achieved by human operators (only 73% accuracy).
Infermedica (Poland) provides an Application Programme Interface (API) for patient triage and preliminary medical diagnosis. Infermedica uses AI-based solutions for diagnosis and its triage platform.
Want to discover more about the GovTech industry & meet exciting startups like these? Come to the GovTech Summit this October – Get your tickets here!
CB Insights. 2021. State of Healthcare Q2’21 Report: Investment and Sector Trends To Watch. https://www.cbinsights.com/reports/CB-Insights_Healthcare-Report-Q2-2021.pdf
Digital Europe. 2020. AI Scale-up wins Future Unicorn Award Digital Europe’s Future Unicorn Prize 2020
Sifted. 2020. In numbers: Europe’s HealthTech industry in 2020. https://sifted.eu/articles/europes-healthtech-industry-2020/