The challenges of recent years have meant that healthcare systems globally have faced unprecedented demands, that in turn required rapid solutions.
As a result, the industry is now experiencing a period of significant change and undergoing remarkable levels of transformation. The pandemic served to accelerate the development and implementation of new technologies which are now redefining how healthcare is both accessed and delivered around the world.
Ireland is recognised internationally as being a medtech hub, and global healthcare leaders are increasingly turning to ambitious Irish life-sciences companies for solutions to these challenges.
It is their agile nature and our rich collaborative R&D ecosystem which has positioned them to react quickly with innovative solutions.
The Irish life sciences sector has developed an impressive start-up eco-system that supports access to specialised staff, managers, suppliers, advisers, and investors.
Today, the total life-sciences sector in Ireland – which includes medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology – exports more than €45bn annually and employs over 50,000 people directly.
Ireland is also home to six of the top seven diagnostics companies. The sector continues to grow in strength, and in 2021 we experienced a 14pc growth in jobs across Enterprise Ireland’s life-sciences portfolio.
This week marks an important week for Ireland’s life-sciences sector, as Enterprise Ireland is hosting the ‘Global Healthcare Forum’.
The Enterprise Ireland Global Healthcare Forum will welcome more than 120 leading executives from healthcare systems and hospitals from over 20 countries to the capital for a series of in-person events over the course of three days.
There is a wide-ranging line-up of speakers from healthcare systems and organisations around the world scheduled to speak at the Global Healthcare Forum. And this includes NHS medical director for public health Prof Yvonne Doyle; Dr Prem Kumar Nair, chief executive of IHH Healthcare in Singapore; Joseph Moscola, executive vice-president of enterprise services at Northwell Health; and Ryl Jensen, chief executive of the Digital Health Association in New Zealand.
Chris Coburn, chief innovation officer of Boston-based non-profit hospital and physicians’ network Mass General Brigham, is the keynote speaker on the opening day of the Global Healthcare Forum. His address will reflect on the challenges of the past two years, the changes healthcare systems globally can implement to improve patient care, and the possibilities for the next wave of evolution in healthcare.
Other key themes set to be explored on the first day are some of the biggest issues facing the healthcare industry today – such as digital disruption and how telehealth is transforming the landscape – through a series of keynote speeches, global healthcare system spotlight sessions, and panel discussions.
Digital health solutions played a pivotal role in the global response to the pandemic – and now many of these innovations are shaping the future of healthcare and how it is delivered.
Ambitious Irish innovators are at the heart of this sector, with many having already made a significant impact globally – and representatives from over 70 Irish life-sciences companies will attend over the course of the three days.
Delegates at Enterprise Ireland’s Global Healthcare Forum will also consider how healthcare systems can cultivate their innovation pipeline, focusing on the immediate and long-term goals of global systems to identify opportunities for improved patient and clinician outcomes.
There will be an opportunity for visitors to experience Irish innovation first-hand on the second and third days of the programme, as international delegates will be able to engage with some of the country’s key life-sciences hubs – such as ATU, BioInnovate, and Health Innovation Hub Ireland in Galway, and the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin.
Healthcare executives will also have the opportunity to visit Enterprise Ireland client companies such as Aerogen, a leader in aerosol medication delivery systems, and Trulife, a manufacturer of medical devices including prosthetics and orthotics.
‘Leading In A Changing World’, Enterprise Ireland’s new strategy document for 2022 to 2024, has identified a number of ambitious targets for the years ahead, including in the area of research and development. Enterprise expenditure in R&D is expected to reach €1.4bn by 2024.
Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting the development and ambition of the Irish life sciences and medtech sector, and the Global Healthcare Forum demonstrates that.
Jennie Lynch is senior vice-president of life sciences at Enterprise Ireland