5 February 2020
A select group of healthcare leaders from Sweden visited Leeds this week to hear about the city’s renowned, innovative strengths in health technologies.
Leeds Academic Health Partnership hosted the tour for 12 Swedish Medtech visitors. After a brief introduction to the history of healthtech in Leeds, representatives from Leeds Academic Health Partnership, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, Leeds City Council and the University of Leeds, explained the strengths and ambitions for Leeds and the City Region.
The Swedish delegates heard that, as the UK’s largest economic region outside of London, the Leeds City Region already has a world-leading concentration of excellence in healthtech. It is home to
- more than 250 healthtech businesses
- 200 digital and technology businesses operating in the health and care sector
- leading centres of academic excellence in research and innovation, and
- West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, the third largest integrated health and care partnership in the country.
The delegation toured the University of Leeds’ state-of-the-art Nexus building, an innovation hub connecting industry innovators with the University’s research and expertise. And they heard about the region’s approach to driving the adoption of new technologies into the health and care system to improve people’s care and ultimately save lives.
Jo-Anne Wass, Chief Operating Officer for Leeds Academic Health Partnership, said: “We were delighted to welcome our Swedish guests and share with them some of the exciting healthtech developments across our city and our City Region.
“We explained how industry, academia and the health and care sector are working together more closely than ever as part of a new, regional, partnership. That strong, coordinated leadership will be critical to accelerating transformations in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ill health.
“Connecting with international counterparts in this way is so important for making new contacts, sharing pioneering ideas and gaining new insights. This visit by our Swedish colleagues has been especially valuable.”
Already a renowned healthtech innovation hub, the Leeds City Region is poised to now significantly speed up its productivity and economic growth in the sector and radically strengthen its position as a leading global player in healthtech.
Healthtech is a globally burgeoning market. In 2015, that market was estimated to be worth $371 billion and was forecast to grow to $529 billion by 2022.
That growth is being driven by factors such as growing and ageing populations, the rise in levels of obesity and chronic illness, technological developments and an increasing demand for medical devices.
The Swedish visit comes just a few days after Leeds hosted delegates from around the world as part of a prestigious programme run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A Leeds City Region team is taking part in the two year programme and is working on a strategy to radically accelerate regional economic growth, with healthtech at the heart of this.
Swedish Medtech Chief Executive Officer Anna Lefevre Skjöldebrand, said: “Many of the challenges we face in the Swedish health and care sector are similar around the world. It is invaluable to be able to learn from and be inspired by some of the work here in Leeds.”
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