New opportunities with digital healthcare solutions in Germany

New opportunities with digital healthcare solutions in Germany

A two-year joint Nordic cluster collaboration has been very successful in helping Nordic companies with digital healthcare solutions entering the German market. Learn about the value of a strong international cluster collaboration and the positive results from the project Digital Health and Care 4.0

Germany has one of the oldest populations in Europe. At the same time, the country is facing an acute shortage of health and care staff. This offers great opportunities for Nordic companies that develop health and care technologies.  

– Although Germany is a mature technology market, the country is only now opening its eyes to how digitalization, automation, robots, and other technologies can raise the quality and facilitate the workflows in the health and care sector, says Karen Lindegaard, senior consultant at Welfare Tech and project manager on the now-completed project Digital Health & Care 4.0.  

The purpose of the project, and the joint Nordic cluster co-operation, has been to support Nordic small and medium-sized enterprises in bringing Nordic health and care technology into the German market. A project that has been supported by the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries under the initiative Nordic Solution to Global Challenges.  

And the results have been surprising.  

– We have had an interest and participation in activities that are far above the expectation – and the goals – we had from the start, says Karen Lindegaard, who believes that success is partly because the German digitalization reform in the health sector took off with the new German Health Minister, Jens Spahn. And that it became a hard Brexit for Britain. This motivated many companies to resume the analysis of Germany as a potential export market. 

New activities related to the German market

Although the project is now over (end 30.06.2020), many companies continue to participate in new activities, such as Deep Dive 2 – online events.

  – On one hand, it shows that the digital reform in the German healthcare system opens up new possibilities. And on the other hand, that access to the German healthcare market is so complex that companies continue to benefit from knowledge transfer, such as webinars and visits to relevant ecosystems and from knowledge exchange between companies, says Karen Lindegaard.

The value of having multiple clusters together

Companies that want to expand internationally need partners who can help with knowledge, contacts, and maybe even development projects. And here, an international cluster collaboration can be an effective springboard. It is much easier for companies to enter a new international market if more people go together. Studies show that the degree of internationalization is increasing markedly among small and medium-sized companies that participate in activities with business clusters.

The 6 partners in the joint Nordic cluster collaboration, Digital Health & Care 4.0:

  • Welfare Tech (Denmark) – lead partner
  • Business Region Gothenburg (Sweden)
  • Gesundheitswirtshaft Hannover (Germany)
  • Innovation Center Iceland (Iceland)
  • Norwegian Smart Care Cluster (Norway)
  • Oulu Health / Business Oulu (Finland)  

Digital Health & Care 4.0 in numbers

Bonus info from the project

Examples of positive results from the project:

  • A successful match between Tidewave (NO) and two nursing homes (members of Gesundheitswirtshaft Hannover) around cooperation and testing of a reversible mattress.
  • A successful match between Gnosco (SE) and an H2020 consortium focusing on early detection of breast cancer.
  • Heart2Save (FI) negotiates tests with a leading hospital in Hanover. Heart2Save has also started the Bfarm approval process (prescription eHealth APPs) with support from the project.
  • Corti (DK), Treat Systems (DK), and Sectra (DK), which in various ways deal with imaging and AI, have been matched to Mediq (DE) and a German accelerator/investment project.

”We were positively surprised by the amount of information we received during the project, and find it very useful. The participation in the activities also gave us good contacts from both Germany and Denmark, that we would not have found without the project. And now we are definitely aiming for the DE market.”

Susan Haanpää, Heart2Save

…And 2 things you should know if you are considering the German market

  1. Although the Germans are reluctant to share data, many solutions are acceptable to them because they do not share personal data at all.
  2. If you have a solution to be developed for the German market, get German investors on board at an early stage. Thereby you can get an investor who has both the knowledge and the network needed to find his way into the German healthcare technology market.

Join a new digital Nordic-German network  

Welfare Tech created a new digital network: Nordic Network – Germany. The network management is financed as an activity in the innovation network Danish Healthtech, where Welfare Tech is the leading partner. The network will communicate relevant events and webinars and offer a platform where German and Nordic cluster partners can present various aspects of the German healthcare system.


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