Ireland must seize opportunities in the health technology sector, which is estimated to be worth €475bn globally by 2018. However, threats from Brexit remain on the horizon, according to the body representing the sector.
Health technology, also known as medtech, is said to encompass any technology that is used to treat and save human lives. It incorporates diagnosing, treating and monitoring of patients ranging from hearing aids to body scanners and pacemakers.
The Irish Medtech Association (the Ibec group that represents the sector), Enterprise Ireland, and IDA Ireland are hosting a conference on medtech potential in December, and said Ireland’s position as one of the main arteries of medtech in the world meant further opportunities had to be explored.
Director of the organisation Sinead Keogh said: “Ireland is a gateway to the €110bn European medtech market. Our medtech sector is worldclass, with nine of the top 10 companies having a base here”.
She said despite the opportunities in the sector, challenges remained. “With almost one in three medtech business leaders stating that they expect Brexit to have a negative impact on their business, it is imperative businesses are sufficiently aware of the risks posed and have the necessary tools to respond and adapt.”
Enterprise Ireland life sciences director Deirdre Glenn said while Ireland had one of the strongest international presences in the medtech sector, indigenous companies were making their mark. “While Ireland has become internationally known as a location of choice for top overseas companies, we’re also strong in growing indigenous companies which account for as much as 60% of Ireland’s medtech cluster.”