Covid-19 has turned the world on its head, but it’s also sparked accelerated change in health-tech – and attracted a large amount of capital globally.
That mixed with an aging population, the need for personalised care, privacy, digitalisation and value-based care, its no wonder healthcare has become one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries.
Over the past five years, New Zealand health-tech has grown steadily. According to the 2019 TIN Report, 11% of the TIN200 companies were health-tech firms, collectively generating 15.4% of the TIN200 revenue.
It’s a sign – the next wave of growth in health-tech is coming and because of the size and significance of the New Zealand health-tech sector, we expect to see great opportunities for Kiwi health-tech innovation and leaders.
Kiwi innovators making waves in health-tech
Public and private health systems around the world are being forced to adapt and innovate in a short period. New Zealand is no stranger to creating and embracing disruptive technologies, with start-ups and companies across the country adapting products and services in response to market shifts.
Recently, there has been an increase in Kiwi innovation with new health-tech ideas and projects including AI application, telehealth, mental health, femtech, medicinal cannabis, wearable technology, medical devices and diagnostics.
These are just the tip of the iceberg:
- Aroa Biosurgery: an ASX-listed Kiwi start-up that has developed a range of products based on AROA ECM™ platform technology that aims to improve the rate and quality of soft tissue repair.
- The Clinician: Zedoc – a cloud-based health outcomes platform that helps healthcare organisations collect and interpret patient-generated health data.
- Formus Labs: the world’s first AI-automated 3D planner for joint replacement surgeries, empowering surgeons with unprecedented insight into the pre-op planning process.
- Orbis Diagnostics: their quantitative immunity testing platform has been a critical tool to safely reopening borders and keeping communities safe in the wake of Covid-19.
- OPUM Technologies: OPUM’s intelligent platform utilises AI to provide actionable data and insights that help manage recovery and long-term knee health.
- JunoFem: FemFit, a smart over-the-counter wearable device for pelvic floor muscle training and monitoring.
- Objective Acuity: the first portable and objective vision screening test for children based on visual acuity.
- Pictor: a biotech company about to begin trials with the US FDA for a Covid-19 test that’s expected to be 10 times cheaper – and 3 times quicker – than traditional methods.
- The Insides Company: breakthrough devices that enable chyme reinfusion in patients with complex intestinal diseases.
Increased support for health-tech innovation
In the last 10 years, market supporters of health-tech have grown tremendously. Cure Kids Ventures used to be the only healthcare-focused, early-stage angel fund, but in recent years, several new players have joined the scene:
- In the private sector, there’s Brendon Capital, BridgeWest, newly launched CaraMed Capital, and some angel funds and venture capitals with an increased focused on investing in health-tech.
- The New Zealand government launched their $25m Covid-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund last year , and 50 plus projects have already been funded.
- A new Health-Tech Activator initiative was introduced by Callaghan Innovation in 2020  to support health-tech start-ups turn technology and science into successful businesses.
- ACC launched a new $50m impact fund that will invest in private companies involved in improving New Zealanders’ health, safety and wellbeing.
Investors in big ideas & bold dreams
Since 2006, our Aspire fund has invested $84 million into supporting 240+ Kiwi startups become world-class companies. Health-tech is one of four focused investment areas – and is our second largest funding behind software.
Keep innovating! The world is facing a global health crisis – and the spotlight is shining bright on health-tech innovation.
If you’re a Kiwi tech start-up seeking funding, check out how our Aspire fund can help kick-start your journey of health-tech innovation.
Molly Yang is Investment Manager at NZ Growth Capital Partners.