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APAC start-ups see the pandemic as an enabler for innovation 

APAC start-ups see the pandemic as an enabler for innovation 

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Medtronic, a global leader in healthcare technology, has held its first hybrid conference, Medtronic Open Innovation Conference (MAIC 2022), in Singapore, themed ‘Accelerating Healthcare Technology Innovation’.  

Aimed at discussing the challenges and opportunities available around the healthcare and technology ecosystem in MedTech, the conference saw the attendance of over 200 delegates from start-ups, government institutions and healthcare practitioners, along with Medtronic’s partner organisations. Taking the lead in this conversation, Medtronic also unveiled a whitepaper titled Asia Pacific’s Healthcare Technologies Ecosystem: Enhancing Start-up and SME success, written by the Economist Impact and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).  

The Medtronic-Economist Impact whitepaper revealed that up to 55% of respondents cited COVID-19 as an enabler of innovative ideas, rather than a detractor. A reflection of this innovation boom, Medtronic saw overwhelming applications from 323 start-ups and business enterprises from 46 countries across the Asia Pacific and beyond vying for a potential collaboration with Medtronic valued up to US$200,000. Five start-ups were crowned winners of the Medtronic APAC Innovation Challenge at the conference. 

The survey saw a combination of factors encompassing, better government support (38%), greater collaboration with the private sector (37%), increased funding availability (36%) and cross-learning platforms between organisations (35%) as the drivers of innovation acceleration. This led to the observation that a multi-sectoral collaborative approach, led by governments in the region, was a key enabler for driving innovations. While not all findings were a surprise, the scale of some findings did highlight the magnitude of some issues facing the healthcare sector overall. One such example was the overwhelming response citing recruitment as the leading cause of concern for over 80% of start-ups surveyed. This echoes the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) prediction of a global shortfall of 14.5 million healthcare workers by 2030. 

 “No one company can do healthcare alone,” said Chris Lee, President for Medtronic, APAC. “As a global leader of healthcare technology, Medtronic takes the accountability to lead the conversation and encourage more meaningful collaborations across the innovation ecosystem. That’s why we launched the open innovation platform and hosted the conference. It’s great to see how all the stakeholders come forward to share their perspectives and are committed to working together for better healthcare. We also appreciate all the idea submissions and congratulate the final winners. More importantly, I hope that our joint efforts will lead to many new and improved solutions to meet the region’s unique healthcare needs.”  

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