COVID-19 has speeded up funding for healthtech innovation giving entrepreneurs a chance to explore and advance with a pace unseen before.
According to MercomCapital, funding for digital healthcare has accelerated in 2020 and in the first nine months of 2020 broke all previous 9M funding records, bringing in $10.3 billion globally.
Norway is repeatedly called the Nordics’ fastest growing startup ecosystem. It is a home to digital transformation across all industries, including the public sector, that much bigger countries could envy. Thanks to speeded up Innovation Norway and other governmental fundings, it has seen a rapid growth in healthtech innovation.
Norway's Healthtech Startups to Watch in 2021
A hospital bed is central to patient recovery and the administration of healthcare services. Yet, not much has changed for hospital beds since the 50s. They can contribute to injuries for both, the patient and the staff, moving the patient can be problematic, and, finally, for older patients a prolonged usage of their hospital bed can cause bedsores.
To diminish all the risks, the team at AblyMed has taken a challenge to redesign the hospital bed, and, hopefully take both, patients and the medical staff into the 21st century. Their newest product, the Ably Bed, is a ‘smart’ AI-powered bed containing built-in sensors monitoring heart rate and weight. The data collected triggers the bed to adjust to the patient's needs. The bed is also able to notify the staff of any abnormalities in heart rate measurement, but also support the patient if he’s at risk of failing.
The Ably Bed is currently in the testing phase, supported by consultations with healthcare professionals to collect necessary data evidence.
AblyMed is built by 20 people, and they were granted €1,4M by Innovation Norway to get their first market-ready product as soon as 2021.
AgeLabs uses machine learning to carry out complex research enabling early disease detection. They were focused on discovery and diagnostics of age-related diseases, but now, they are also investigating the severity of COVID-19 infection. They are also working on a blood test that could be used to predict risk of severe COVID-19 infection and guide therapy for the patients. They are engaged in various Research & Development projects with public institutions in Norway.
AgeLabs secured $900Kin funding last year (2020), and were among the nominees for Best Health Tech Startup by Nordic Startup Awards.
Nominated in Global Startup Awards in the leading startup in the Nordics category, Bulbitech strives to replace manual eye examinations, and deliver one platform delivering multiple eye and brain parameters. During Oslo Innovation Week, they were recognized as one of the top 100 pitches.
With their technology, the Bulbitech team wants to improve eye health accessibility for all patients, and ease out the work on the doctor’s side. The platform and the camera can be operated by anyone, and at home, to generate objective clinical results. Their platform uses AI and custom algorithms to detect patterns for early detection of eye and eye-brain disorders. The data can be easily shared through telemedicine services, which smooths the workflow and can speed up the diagnosis significantly.
Lifeness connects obesity clinic patients with medical professionals, all in real time, to ease out their journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Lifeness realized that the key to a patient's recovery is sustained motivation, so the app focuses more on the mental health aspect than the measurements themselves. They provide the patient with easy and secure communication with a dedicated healthcare professional, daily encouragement messages, regular reviews with the health professional, all to make the journey more personal and tailored to individual needs.
In 2020, Lifeness was recognized with a 2020 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The team is working with several obesity clinics in Norway, providing a native iOS and Android apps for the patients, and a corresponding web platform for healthcare professionals.
With doctor demand going through the roof because of coronavirus, Hjemmelegene managed to secure almost $2M in funding in 2020. The platform offers qualified and certified physicians visits in the comfort of your own home and online. Patients are able to book not only in-home and tele visits, but also schedule a coronavirus test to be performed at home, influenza vaccine or other tests if necessary.
Hjemmelegene quickly became one of the top startups in Norway, and the pandemic setting doubled the demand making their business skyrocket in front of their very eyes.