Our region’s clinical, academic and business innovators have a remarkable track record in world-class research and healthtech development. Their work has a far-reaching impact on healthcare and outcomes – whilst healthtech businesses are a recognised and ever-growing strength across our region.Healthtech Strategy PDF
West Yorkshire has all the vital components to be an engine of health ideas and innovation that can drive levelling up; not just for the region’s economy, but for the nation’s health. It is able to contribute significantly to the post COVID economic and health recovery.
The West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership 5 year plan has already identified this critical opportunity. ‘Better health and wellbeing for everyone’ highlights the transformative opportunities that healthtech and innovation can bring across health provision to deliver a healthier economy.
Our region has a unique healthtech innovation ecosystem with its strengths across medtech, digital and data – and connectivity across and between these strengths – and is leading the way with the translation of research into commercialisation.
The region has been recognised by central government as a high potential opportunity area for woundcare, regenerative tissue, AI and data analytics. However we are not currently seen as the leading Healthtech cluster nationally, due to the fragmented nature of the system and the lack of adoption of products and services into practice. This means our region does not currently reach its full potential for residents and businesses.
There are other well-known health and innovation clusters across the country. However, none boast the level of assets that we possess in West Yorkshire and Leeds City Region – assets across industry and academia, plus unique strengths within our public sector infrastructure. The Opportunity section of this strategy focuses on these assets, demonstrating the prime opportunity for West Yorkshire and the City Region to become the leading healthtech cluster nationally and to partner, where appropriate, with other healthtech clusters across the UK and globally.
We must act now to capitalise on these strengths, the market opportunity and to deliver the health and wellbeing outcomes needed post COVID. In 2019, the global healthtech market was worth an estimated $175 (US bn), expected to rise to $660 billion by 2025. Even before COVID, which sharply increased the need for digital health tools to be used, adoption has been steadily increasing.
The healthtech sector faces significant challenges post COVID and the City Region with its dominance of micro businesses and SMEs is no exception. To achieve the full potential of this market, collaboration between the NHS, industry, universities, the third sector and government requires a unified approach. Only through collaboration and connection will we overcome barriers to healthtech innovation, translation and adoption.
Driving excellence in science and innovation will play a key part in addressing the Leeds City Region productivity gap, and the challenges that underpin this.