Irish healthcare sector sets its sights on increasing exports of healthcare innovation to the UAE and wider Middle East
27th January, 2022
- Enterprise Ireland hosted over 200 meetings between Irish healthcare companies and buyers at its stand in Arab Health, the leading medical industry exhibition in the Middle East.
- The Irish medtech industry exports over €13bn to over 100 countries every year, positioning Ireland as the second-largest exporter of medtech products in Europe.
- Gulf region is a major growth market for Ireland, exports to United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in 2020 grew by 12% and 6% respectively. In 2020, Irish exports to both markets continued to grow, even against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a combined market value of close to €320 million
A delegation of 20 Irish healthcare companies participated in the 2022 edition of Arab Health this week, which took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 24 to 27 January. Enterprise Ireland hosted an exhibition and facilitated attendance for leading Irish healthcare companies at this year’s Arab Health, including Aerogen, AceTech, Fleming Medical, CF Pharma Ireland Ltd, HealthSectorTalent, and HiberGene Diagnostics Ltd. Over 200 meetings took place between Irish healthcare providers and buyers at Enterprise Ireland’s stand during the 4 day show.
Several Irish companies supported by Enterprise Ireland are already enjoying much success in the region. With a presence in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, Irish company AceTech has built up business in the region worth €10m, working in the areas of safety, patient care and AI software for several ambulance services in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and cities.
Galway-based company Aerogen, a leader in aerosol medication delivery systems, opened an office in Dubai in 2018 and has grown business significantly in the region since the start of the pandemic. Most recently, the company announced a major deal with Gulf Medical, a market leader in medical device distribution in Saudi Arabia.
Fleming Medical began operating in the region in 2014, and currently service over 1,800 retail stores in several GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman. This year, the company plans to expand operations into Iraq and North Africa, growing business by 25% by the end of 2023.
With an increase of over 40% in Irish companies participating at the Arab Health exhibition this year compared to 2020, it demonstrates strong progress in the momentum in the region being achieved as part of the reinvigorated strategy by Enterprise Ireland to increase Irish healthcare exports to the UAE and wider region.
The title of this year’s event was ‘United by business, forging ahead’, reflecting the importance that new technologies and innovation have in today’s rapidly changing global healthcare industry. More than 3,500 exhibitors took part in the exhibition, which aims to connect manufacturers and service providers with clinicians, procurement professionals, dealers and distributors.
During his visit to Expo 2020 Health Week in Dubai, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, TD, visited the Arab Health exhibition, where he met with a number of Irish companies at the Ireland stand.
Commenting on his visit, Minister Donnelly said: “I am delighted to have been here in Dubai at the Arab Health exhibition, 2022, and to meet with the Irish healthcare companies who are participating in Arab Health, supported by Enterprise Ireland. This is one of the biggest exhibitions of its kind anywhere in the world, showcasing the latest healthcare innovations, and it is great to see so many Irish companies here at an event showcasing the future of healthcare.”
Deirdre Glenn, Director of Life Sciences at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Irish medtech companies proved how agile and flexible they are during the pandemic. Our focus has now turned to the post-Covid world, and how the pandemic has changed healthcare, both in terms of how we access it and in terms of how it is delivered. A lot of eyes are on Irish innovators, some of whom have already come up with exciting solutions.”
“Ireland has long been a leader in the medtech world. Our success is down to a combination of track record and forward thinking and a deep pool of experience and highly trained talent. This is boosted by a fertile ecosystem that integrates industry, research and the clinical community to promote high-quality innovation."
Notes to Editor
Enterprise Ireland’s Arab Health participation and associated events have been organised in line with Irish and local market Covid-19 regulations and travel requirements.
Irish medtech companies at Arab Health that are collaborating with Middle East healthcare providers for improved healthcare capabilities:
- Deciphex: For the UAE and MENA, Deciphex enables both the patient and the referring institution/physician the ability to refer to the top level of pathology sub-specialists without the need to travel. Deciphex is focused on the development of software applications for preclinical/toxicologic pathology that improve productivity and help pathologists focus on the critical content. Deciphex recently launched its clinical diagnostic service, Diagnexia, that provides on-demand access to remote subspecialty pathologists for primary diagnostics and secondary consult services, supporting the achievement of turnaround time goals and delivery of the highest quality of patient care.
- Medical Eguides Ltd.: MEG is set to expand their presence in the Middle East with a new office in the region, employing an on-ground regional business director and signing on new partners and deals in Saudi Arabia. MEG provides a suite of applications that can improve healthcare quality through audit, feedback, and reporting. It provides tools on mobile and tablet devices which provide real time results and alerts. The software also provides training information and guidelines to train staff at the point of care. Using this technology, audits are more accurate, it saves time and results are available instantly allowing teams to spend more time on improved patient care, reducing costs. MEG supports the vision to deliver great care for every patient every time with an intuitive, all-in-one digital quality management system connecting the key components of governance for quality, patient safety and compliance in one place.
- Mypatientspace: myPatientSpace are currently working in Europe, Middle East, Israel, and the Americas. myPatientSpace is a leading innovative digital health company, founded in 2017, powering connected patient solutions for global healthcare providers and life sciences companies. Its goal is to improve the healthcare experience for millions of patients globally by connecting them across their care journey. myPatientSpace achieves this by providing an innovative no-code platform that allows our customers to provide personalized medical grade digital companions for patients. They help make patient-centric care a reality. myPatientSpace is trusted by world leading healthcare institutions and today powers solutions in disease awareness, pre- and post-surgery care, chronic disease management and research trials in several therapy areas: Sleep, Oncology, Rheumatology, Respiratory, Chronic Kidney Disease, Orthopedics and others.
- Novaerus: In Q4 2021, Novaerus secured a new channel partner in UAE and Qatar. For over a decade, Novaerus has been providing medical-grade solutions that address a global problem; unhealthy indoor air. Led by a dedicated and highly skilled team of scientists, the company took a fundamentally different approach to air dis-infection, which led to the transformational discovery of NanoStrike – the unique, patented technology at the core of all Novaerus portable air dis-infection devices today. This nanotechnology inactivates all airborne microorganisms on contact providing the ¬first line of protection against viruses and bacteria. Utilising NanoStrike technology, Novaerus devices help to prevent the spread of infection in thousands of hospitals, senior living facilities, IVF clinics, dental offices, schools and homes around the world.
- Scope Healthcare: The complete and innovative ranges of eyecare, allergy, and well-being products from Scope are now available for distribution in EMEA, APAC and LATAM markets. Scope is a healthcare and pharmaceuticals company with locations in Ireland, UK and USA that provides healthcare professionals and patients with high quality, effective and innovative products. Ophthalmics Scope offers innovative eyecare products for AMD and ocular surface diseases, such as dry eye disease, blepharitis and MGD. Healthcare Scope offers a range of innovative products to pharmacies and health food stores, such as Bio Kult probiotics, Vivio Junior Multivitamin & Cough Syrup, Vivimune Immunity tonic, and many more.
- SureWash: SureWash helps hospitals within the GCC earn the Joint Commission International (JCI) Standards 'Gold Seal of Approval'. Seven of the JCI goals are directly related to SureWash features, promoting quality and patient safety. SureWash revolutionises hand hygiene training. The leading technology delivers on-site and remote training and assessment to the World Health Organization (WHO) protocol. The validated technology ensures training and education is accessible and convenient to help reduce hospital acquired infections and improve patient outcomes. Training and re-training is accessible 24/7 for medical professionals, patients, and visitors. The system encourages self-directed learning and provides objective, real-time feedback on the user’s hand hygiene technique during training. Customisable lessons and quizzes support the practical training to address gaps in knowledge within a facility.
- Vitalograph: Vitalograph recently signed new distribution partnerships in Kuwait and Jordan, and have a pipeline of projects and collaborations in the UAE set to be confirmed this year. A global leader in respiratory diagnostics, Vitalograph manufacture and supply high quality spirometers and medical devices which aid the detection, diagnosis and management of respiratory conditions. Its products are used in over 113 countries by medical professionals in healthcare and occupational health settings. Vitalograph have also delivered successful clinical trials for many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, biotech and contract research organisations. Its product range includes spirometers, lung and asthma monitors, COPD screeners, medical workstations as well as software and consumables.
- Solvotrin Therapeutics: Active Iron is clinically proven to be significantly better absorbed than the gold standard ferrous sulphate but uniquely avoids the negative gastrointestinal side effects commonly associated with oral iron. Active Iron is available in 12 markets worldwide, including the UAE. Solvotrin Therapeutics is an Irish healthcare development company focused on optimising established therapies through innovative science with patent protection. Headquartered in Cork, Ireland, Solvotrin has a team of 20 people with the R&D team members located at Trinity College Dublin. Driven by innovative science, Solvotrin redesigns essential medicinal and healthcare products, making them safer and more effective. Solvotrin’s approach has produced two distinct patent-protected platforms with applications in a wide array of medical settings. The first product range developed and successfully commercialised is the Active platform technology, led by a range of innovative oral iron products branded as Active Iron.
Other Enterprise Ireland client companies showcasing Ireland’s strength in the medtech industry at Arab Health include:
- Aerogen: Aerogen is the world’s leading medical device company specialising in the design, manufacture and commercialisation of aerosol drug delivery systems. Its patented vibrating mesh technology turns liquid medication into a fine particle mist, gently and effectively delivering drugs to the lungs of critically ill patients. The company, with a wealth of international awards, has a strong international presence with offices in Ireland, UK, Germany, United States, Middle East, Asia and India.
- CF Pharma Ireland Ltd: Cf Pharma is an ISO 13485 and HACCP accredited company based in Ireland that manufactures a range of novel specific Health Food Supplements, Medical Device Formulations and Advanced Topical Dermatological Solutions for both the Human and Animal Healthcare.
- Fleming Medical Ltd: Fleming Medical pride themselves in having over 30 years’ experience in developing and supplying of medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, consumables and products to both the Irish and international healthcare and pharmacy industries. Fleming Medical are innovators and lead the way in chronic health conditions through the adaption of wearable technology to healthcare solutions. Fleming along with NUIG, RCSI & The Tyndall Institute are developing Dermatrax, the world’s first smart wound care dressing whereby a wound dressing will assess the wound viability via sensors that send the information to an app for a more accurate assessment thus reducing wound care costs and patient discomfort.
- HealthSectorTalent: HealthSectorTalent, also known as HST, is an award-winning healthcare talent consultancy founded on a culture that is passionate about transforming the way healthcare providers, state agencies and governments manage the acquisition of both clinical and non-healthcare talent. From creating and delivering talent attraction strategies to designing applicant flows and providing outsourced recruitment process administration, its customisable client-focused talent acquisition solutions support direct supply, hybrid RPO and end-to-end recruitment. By focusing on the entire talent acquisition ecosystem including strategy, processes, attraction and candidate management, HST deliver greater predictability of supply and a lower candidate acquisition cost through a partnership that goes beyond simply filling a vacancy.
- HiberGene Diagnostics Ltd: HiberGene Diagnostics is a Dublin-based, private Irish company, that develops, manufactures, and markets molecular diagnostic tests for the direct detection of human infectious diseases, using the LAMP (Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplication) technology. In 2020, HiberGene successfully completed the CE marking of a new fast molecular COVID-19 test. Positive results are returned within a few hours, enabling rapid diagnosis of the disease at the early and highly infectious stage of infection. With its expanding HG product line, HiberGene is committed to providing rapid and highly accurate testing solutions, which are cost effective and simple to use. HG tests address the unmet clinical need for a rapid, highly accurate and simple testing solution, making them ideal for use in a wide range of clinical, near patient and laboratory environments.
- Kersia: Kersia is a global leader in biosecurity and food safety with value added products and solutions to prevent diseases or contamination in both animals and humans at every stage of the food supply chain. The company also offers solutions to the healthcare sector. Kersia operates in more than 120 countries with a workforce of over 1,500 people and a turnover of more than €300 million. With Kersia, farmers, food processing plants and retailers have the most trusted partner with the scientific and field experience to identify risks and deliver innovative solutions.
- T-Pro: T-Pro is a global leader in clinical documentation improvement software. Their AI driven solutions enable workflows for efficient and accurate speech recognition, medical transcription, messaging, telehealth, document distribution and coding. T-Pro facilitates a patient centred solution by making it easy for doctors to capture the patient narrative, and by delivering information when it is needed most – at the point of care. T-Pro’s technology allows healthcare providers to voice enable their existing EPR, reduce transcription costs, outsource overflow tasks. Over 500 Client organisations and over 20,000 active users enjoy the benefits of T-Pro solutions today. Recently, T-Pro accelerated AI technology strategy for healthcare with the consolidation of Indian service providers under T-Pro Medical PVT.
- ACETECH: A global supplier of software and vehicle solutions for the emergency services market, Acetech designs innovative cloud-based fleet performance software, specialist modules for safety, eco-friendliness and asset protection, and intelligent control systems for healthcare providers and government bodies. These solutions integrate seamlessly with emergency service vehicles to help them perform better. ACETECH’s scalable integrated solution helps track all emergency vehicles and assets, coaches safe and productive driving, and reduces fuel consumption.
- Empeal: A health risk management tool focused on prevention and management of chronic diseases, the Empeal platform gathers medical, nutrition, lifestyle, behaviour data, personal goals data from users through interactive questionnaires and integrated technologies like wearables for practitioners to visualise early trend. These data points are linked using unique algorithms to deliver highly personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes. Empeal work with RCSI's Centre for Positive Health and Psychology and are the technology partner of CPL's Future of Work.
- Gasgon Medical: Gasgon Medical is an award-winning start-up medical device company, based in Cork, Ireland, developing innovative fluid management products for the clinical market. Gasgon tackles the challenges of making IV infusions better for patients and clinicians. In December 2021 the company closed a seed round of €2m to manufacture and launch its premier device, AirVault. The company was recently awarded as overall winner, with a prize of €100,000, at Seedcorn, the largest business competition in Ireland.
- Medfind Solutions: Established in August 2015, MSL Healthcare are active across Irish hospitals and retail pharmacies, focusing on strong, value-added products which make a real difference to patients’ lives. With a combined experience in the Irish healthcare market of over 40 years, it aims to build a quality offering that empowers the physician to make an informed decision regarding their patient's therapy. A further major strength lies in their ability to access key customers, payers, and stakeholders across all Irish hospitals. Recently, the company commenced the trading of MedFind UK Ltd, which can source and supply UK products for export markets as well as seeking partners for supply of unlicensed medicines to the UK and Irish markets. They also provide distribution facilities to business partners who wish to establish new operations in the UK and Ireland.
- O'Flynn Medical: O’Flynn Medical is a family-owned company specialising in the supply and rental of medical equipment and service to the HSE, care facilities and private homes across Ireland. Since its establishment in 2002, it has gone from being a small maintenance company working in the healthcare sector, to a company who supply specialist innovative healthcare products across Europe. Scrubex, its scrub management system, has been saving money, tightening infection control procedures and improving the effectiveness of HSE hospital laundries since its introduction into the Irish Health Service in 2008. Now, it is also the preferred solution in Acute Hospitals in the UK and Germany. Its Stryker high end, pressure relieving products are proving to be reliable, clinically effective and cost effective across all areas of the Irish Health Service. The innovative O'Flynn Medical tablet crushing system is now being introducing into the UK market.
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