New Medtech Chair to prioritise startups & connected health

February 12, 2019

The Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec group that represents the sector, has announced FIRE1 CEO Conor Hanley as Chair of the association and S3 Connected Health’s CEO John O’Brien as Vice Chair. 

Over the past five years, to realise the association’s ambition to become a global location of choice for medtech the group has been led by Chairs from top global foreign direct investment companies. Now, as a recognised global hub, Irish Medtech is putting a spotlight on the vibrant indigenous sector and strategic growth markets like connected health* with €15.5 billion in sales forecast by 2024. 

Irish Medtech Association Director Sinead Keogh said: “For nearly 20 years the Irish Medtech Association has worked with CEOs and senior business leaders to shape and deliver industry vision. Ireland is now home to 9 of the world’s top 10 medtech companies and a strategic base for the European market worth €110 billion.

“We want to make Ireland an international leader in innovative, patient-centred medtech products and solutions to tackle changing health needs. Healthcare spending in the OECD grew an estimated 2.5% in 2017 with increased demand for services with ageing populations and the rise of chronic diseases. Hospitals account for 40% of health spending. Connected health is a way to support better care pathways and empowered patients as well as tackle rising costs. 

“We need to help small companies make it big with medtech startups fuelling innovation and the burgeoning connected health scene in Ireland ready to start a healthcare revolution. That’s why we’re delighted to have FIRE1 Conor Hanley and S3 Group John O’Brien share their expertise and help us capitalise on these exciting growth opportunities.”

Irish Medtech Association Chair and FIRE1 CEO Conor Hanley said: “It’s an honour to lead the Irish Medtech Association and represent this dynamic industry that saves and transforms lives. My top priority for this year is to drive policies and conditions to ensure entrepreneurship can thrive with as many as 4 out of 5 medtech businesses here being either startups or SMEs. 

Globally, the top 30 medtech companies dominate the medtech market accounting for 64% of the market with €226 billion in sales. To make Ireland one of the top 10 startup communities in the world, we’re urging the Government to focus on three key areas, create a supportive tax environment, promote better funding avenues, and help develop research talent. The immediate priorities under this are, make our capital gains tax more competitive, support relief programs to encourage investment, as well as ensure access to venture capital and seed funding for early stage startups.

Irish Medtech Association Vice Chair and S3 Connected Health’s CEO John O’Brien, said: “Ireland’s ground-breaking medtech sector is uniquely placed to be a leader in connected health. We’re not only home to top medtech companies, 10 of the world’s top 10 biopharma and ICT companies also have a base here. We also have an incredible diversity of home-grown companies. There is pressure on the healthcare system to deliver and demonstrate value by connecting data to measure and improve outcomes. With thoughtful collaboration and nurturing Ireland can be a leading player in this global trend.”