What exactly is MedTech?
Just when you thought there couldn’t be another tech-industry abbreviation, there's now one for medical technology: MedTech. The cutting-edge subsector – an intersection between ICT and life sciences – utilises technology to improve the future of healthcare.
The Dutch capital is widely viewed as the globe's MedTech hub, with some of the industry's biggest innovations happening in the city. After all, there's a reason this year’s Global MedTech Compliance Conference and MedTech Summit are taking place right here in Amsterdam.
A home base for international MedTech
The Netherlands’ streamlined healthcare system – coupled with the population’s remarkably early adoption of technology – makes the region the perfect testbed for MedTech, and that’s why so many international companies in the field have made the move into the Dutch capital.
One such company is Turkey-based Alvimedica Medical Technologies, a producer of high-end heart surgery equipment. There's also Wright Medical Technologies, a US company that designs and manufactures innovative orthopaedic aids for worn and otherwise damaged joints. Another American MedTech company with an Amsterdam office is NuVasive, an innovator in spine-surgery technology that is improving the lives of patients across the world.
Of course, there are plenty of homegrown MedTech innovators, too. For example, Bram Schermers – a clinical research scientist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute – won the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award last summer for his cutting-edge tech for breast cancer detection. And there are always new developments happening in the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the University of Amsterdam and VUmc Cancer Center.
Amsterdam Science Park is also making great progress in the field – particularly with the next generation of nanomaterials. “These have the potential to enormously increase the efficiency of solar cells, boosting sustainable energy methods and will have a huge impact on medical technologies and treatments,” says Leo le Duc, the park’s director.
A promising future for Amsterdam's startups
Amsterdam’s startups are dominating the FinTech and MadTech scene, so it’s only fair that they’re pioneering in MedTech, too. Amsterdam’s acumen for medical research and its strong tech talent pool make its business ecosystem the perfect springboard for any MedTech startup.
Among the most impressive Amsterdam-based MedTech startups is Mint Solutions – the developer of MedEye, an app for doctors, patients and nurses that increases the safety and transparency of medication administration in hospitals. The company received a whopping €5m in funding last year and are now hard at work on perfecting their innovative app.
There’s also Earlydoc, who develop a web-based program that gives users a personalised, jargon-free description of medical conditions. The startup’s algorithm – based on data from official medical guidelines for illness symptoms – gives users an early prognosis of their ailment. Their ultimate goal is to decrease unnecessary doctor visits.
The future is looking very bright for new MedTech startups in Amsterdam, too. The city has its own dedicated MedTech startup incubator: NLC. The initiative helps young businesses in medical and health technology find their feet in the industry, helping them transform their prototypes or ideas into viable, sustainable products.