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South Denmark – a unique ecosystem for robot technology in the healthcare sector

South Denmark – a unique ecosystem for robot technology in the healthcare sector
Ecosystem News

South Denmark has a unique international position for robot technology in the healthcare sector. It is important to continue the efforts to strengthen the South Denmark ecosystem as robot technology and automation has great potential to support a sustainable Danish healthcare sector. This is the result of a recently published analysis “The South Denmark Ecosystem for robot technology in the healthcare sector”, initiated by the Region of Southern Denmark. Read more about the analysis in this article

The analysis includes a mapping of stakeholders in the ecosystem and the strengths and development areas for the ecosystem – what are already successful initiatives and what should be strengthened.

In relation to the mapping, the analysis presents a number of specific suggestions for strengthening the ecosystem and its activities. 

The results of the analysis

South Denmark has a unique international position for robot technology in the healthcare sector due to the high number of companies, organisations, and industry partners located in South Denmark that contribute to the South Denmark ecosystem in the technological field. 

However, there is a need for continued efforts to strengthen the conditions for the ecosystem in the healthcare sector as this sector is challenged by a decreasing labour force. And this tendency is expected to continue.

Robot technology and automation is expected to contribute to the healthcare sector by carrying out a number of tasks that releases more time for healthcare staff to do other tasks, by increasing the quality of certain treatments, and by creating a better working environment for the staff. 

The report analyses the South Denmark ecosystem for robot technology in the healthcare sector. It includes an analysis of the ecosystem stakeholders, their relations, existing strengths and areas for development. The report presents eight initiatives with potential to strengthen different aspects of the ecosystem and is concluded with reflections on how these initiatives can be combined to a joint vision for the ecosystem. 

The report concludes that the future of the ecosystem depends on a number of stakeholders and not only stakeholders from the public sector. Therefore, the eight initiatives are not only policy recommendations for public stakeholders but also aimed at private stakeholders e.g. industry clusters and funding bodies. In order for the ecosystem to run optimally, there is a need for collaboration between public and private partners and the responsibility for the success of the ecosystem is a joint effort.  

Highlighted strengths of the ecosystem

The analysis has identified six strengths of the ecosystem:

  1. The industrial robotic environment
  2. The relevant educations
  3. The strong and open network
  4. The development and research environment
  5. The brand “Odense Robotics”
  6. The passionate ambassadors in the investment environment.

Six development areas for the ecosystem

In relation to the strengths, six development areas for the ecosystem were identified:

  1. Challenges with scaling robotics solutions.
  2. The need for a stronger dialogue between clinical needs and technological solutions.
  3. The need for more emphasis on commercial aspects in development projects.
  4. Challenges with fleet control and integration of different robotics systems as a response to the different IT systems used among the vendors. 
  5. The need for continued external input to the ecosystem to ensure a continuous flow of new resources. 
  6. Lack of clarity on testing and documentation for using robot technology in the healthcare sector. 

Initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem:

In order to address the development areas and strengthen the ecosystem, the report identified eight initiatives that are concrete areas where the ecosystem could be strengthened: 

  1. Research and Innovation funds
  2. Establishing an international test environment
  3. Business advice about the healthcare sector and business cases
  4. Open IT standards
  5. Establishing a technology forum
  6. Advice on CE marking
  7. Focus on commercial scaling of development projects
  8. Branding and marketing “Odense Robotics City”.

A number of these initiatives can be combined to a joint vision for the South Denmark ecosystem with the aim of putting South Denmark on the map as an international arena for robot technology in the healthcare sector. 

This vision evolves around the establishment of an international test environment where Danish as well as international companies and hospitals can test new robot technologies and gather documentation for the effect in a real-life environment. The test environment has the potential to be an asset for knowledge and educational institutions. In order to pursue the joint vision, there is a need for a large amount of resources and strategic will power but if it is successful, it will result in a unique international health and tech environment. 

Find the report in Danish here:  “Det syddanske økosystem for robotteknologi til sundhedssektoren.”

About the Ecosystem Analysis

The analysis was initiated by the Region of Southern Denmark and the report was developed by Regional Development – Health innovation and Culture and Danish Technological Institute – Analysis and Promotion of Trade. 

The background for the report is an ecosystem analysis conducted from December 2022 to April 2023 by Danish Technological Institute. 

The analysis is based on 26 interviews and two workshops with key stakeholders in the ecosystem. Based on the analysis, Danish Technological Institute has identified eight initiatives to strengthen the conditions for robot technology in the healthcare sector.  

If you want to know more about the ecosystem analysis, you can contact Louise Halgaard Gotfredsen, Specialist Consultant at the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark, lhg@rsyd.dk.

NEWS​

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