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The golden age of health-tech

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By techweek Techweek

13 May 2021

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Celebrating health-tech innovation and growth in Aotearoa

Covid-19 has turned the world on its head, but it’s also sparked accelerated change in health-tech - and attracted a large amount of capital globally[1]. That mixed with an aging population, the need for personalised care, privacy, digitalisation and value-based care, its no wonder healthcare has become one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries[2].

Over the past five years, New Zealand health-tech has grown steadily. According to the 2019 TIN Report, 11% of the TIN200 companies were health-tech firms, collectively generating 15.4% of the TIN200 revenue.

It’s a sign – the next wave of growth in health-tech is coming and because of the size and significance of the New Zealand health-tech sector, we expect to see great opportunities for Kiwi health-tech innovation and leaders.

Kiwi innovators making waves in health-tech

Public and private health systems around the world are being forced to adapt and innovate in a short period. New Zealand is no stranger to creating and embracing disruptive technologies, with start-ups and companies across the country adapting products and services in response to market shifts.

Recently, there has been an increase in Kiwi innovation with new health-tech ideas and projects including AI application, telehealth, mental health, femtech, medicinal cannabis, wearable technology, medical devices and diagnostics.

These are just the tip of the iceberg:

  • Aroa Biosurgery: an ASX-listed Kiwi startup that has developed a range of products based on AROA ECM™ platform technology that aims to improve the rate and quality of soft tissue repair.
  • The Clinician: Zedoc - a cloud-based health outcomes platform that helps healthcare organisations collect and interpret patient-generated health data.
  • Formus Labs: the world’s first AI-automated 3D planner for joint replacement surgeries, empowering surgeons with unprecedented insight into the pre-op planning process.
  • Orbis Diagnostics: their quantitative immunity testing platform has been a critical tool to safely reopening borders and keeping communities safe in the wake of Covid-19.
  • OPUM Technologies: OPUM’s intelligent platform utilises AI to provide actionable data and insights that help manage recovery and long-term knee health.
  • JunoFem: FemFit, a smart over-the-counter wearable device for pelvic floor muscle training and monitoring.
  • Objective Acuity: the first portable and objective vision screening test for children based on visual acuity.
  • Pictor: a biotech company about to begin trials with the US FDA for a Covid-19 test that’s expected to be 10 times cheaper - and 3 times quicker - than traditional methods.
  • The Insides Company: breakthrough devices that enable chyme reinfusion in patients with complex intestinal diseases.

Increased support for health-tech innovation

In the last 10 years, market supporters of health-tech have grown tremendously. Cure Kids Ventures used to be the only healthcase-focused, seed and early stage investment fund, but in recent years, several new players have joined the scene:

  • In the private sector, there’s Brendon Capital, BridgeWest, newly launched CaraMed Capital, and some angel funds and venture capitals with an increased focused on investing in healthtech.
  • The New Zealand government launched their $25m Covid-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund last year[3], and 50 plus projects have already been funded.
  • A new Health-Tech Activator initiative was introduced by Callaghan Innovation in 2020[4] to support health-tech start-ups turn technology and science into successful businesses.
  • ACC launched a new $50m impact fund[5] that will invest in private companies involved in improving New Zealanders’ health, safety and wellbeing.

Investors in big ideas & bold dreams

Since 2006, the New Zealand Growth Capital Partners Aspire fund has invested $84 million into supporting 240+ Kiwi start-ups become world-class companies.  Healthtech is one of four focused investment areas – and is our second largest funding behind software.

Keep innovating! The world is facing a global health crisis - and the spotlight is shining bright on health-tech innovation.

If you’re a Kiwi tech start-up seeking funding, check out how our Aspire fund can help kick-start your journey of health-tech innovation.

Article written by Molly Yang, Investment Manager at NZ Growth Capital Partners

New Zealand Growth Capital Partners is a Festival Partner of Techweek2021

[1] https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/healthcare-trends-q4-2020/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_industry

[3] https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/25-million-innovative-solutions-response-covid-19

[4] https://hta.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/

[5] https://www.acc.co.nz/newsroom/stories/accs-private-markets-team-seeks-investments-with-health-and-safety-impact/


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