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Swiss Health Trends

Digital Health Growth

Switzerland has an increasing number of start-ups in the digital health field. According to the conclusion of a study by ZHAW and Health-Trends, these start-ups focus primarily on technology-oriented offers and doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies as customers

Switzerland has a dynamic, rapidly developing start-up landscape in the digital health sector. Of the current total of around 180 to 200 start-ups, the majority are active in the “data health” and “tech health” segments: they offer, for example, digital solutions for evaluating health data or digitally controllable medical technology products. More than half of the start-ups included in the survey are located in the Zurich area and have a maximum of five employees. These are the findings of a survey conducted by the ZHAW School of Management and Law and Health-Trends, a Swiss think tank for digital health. The study is based on this online survey of 42 Swiss start-ups.

FURTHER GROWTH EXPECTED

“We assume that the digital health sector and associated start-up scene will develop rapidly in the coming years. The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to accelerate this trend even more,” says Alfred Angerer, head of the Department of Management in Healthcare at the Winterthur Institute of Health Economics at the ZHAW School of Management and Law.

“The high proportion of start-ups in “tech health” and “data health” also illustrates how important high-tech skills are for innovations in the digital health environment. Many start-ups use forward-looking technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

Around three-quarters of the surveyed start-ups offer digital products and services in core medical areas, such as prevention, symptom recording, information search, diagnosis and therapy

WIDE RANGE OF SERVICES

Around three-quarters of the surveyed startups offer digital products and services in core medical areas, such as prevention, symptom recording, information search, diagnosis and therapy. These can be digital symptom testers or online information platforms, for example for searching for doctors and therapists. In terms of content, the solutions are often aimed at chronic illnesses like diabetes or cancer, or at psychological complaints.

The survey further shows that 80 per cent of the start-ups are active in the B2B sector and focus on hospitals, doctors, health insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies as customers. This is mainly due to the fact that the willingness of private customers to pay for digital health offers in Switzerland has been rather low to date. Around half of the start-ups already have a well-developed offer of products or services. Another quarter has at least one offer in the form of prototypes with market demand that’s currently being validated by the companies concerned. Almost 85 per cent of the surveyed start-ups have established cooperation agreements to develop their offer with academic partners.

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