New survey: Baltic Sea Region Health IT SMEs need networking and matchmaking
BaltCityPrevention investigated the collaboration between Health IT SMEs and Public Health Authorities in the Baltic Sea Region. Matchmaking events and networking between SMEs and PHAs are essential to overcome the barriers. Investments and a qualified workforce are critical for Health IT SME business development. Collaboration can be the key for successful product and service development.
To gather information about Health IT SMEs needs and requirements related to public-private cooperation a questionnaire was developed and sent to SMEs in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
The survey results show that most companies (54%) have had cooperation with Public Health Authorities (PHAs) in regard to eHealth-issues/products. 13% have delivered a ready-made product/service, but 41% have developed, changed or altered a service/product for a PHA.
Lowering the barriers for collaboration with Public Health Authorities
When asked for suggestions on how to solve the different problems related to their previous cooperation with PHAs, companies pointed out basically two main solutions.
First, the need for improving communication, for example – open dialog with PHA’s and IT companies, empowered middle/lower management to make decisions on their own, more open communication between bidders as well as inside and between municipalities, mutual case study groups.
Second, more preparatory work is needed before the projects, for example – pre-negotiations before the procurement process, better analysis and pre-planning for communication and the technical background, timely implementation of new processes related to transition to new digital services.
Contacts and matchmaking essential – Investments and qualified workforce critical
More than half of the companies (53%) have indicated the need for the right contacts and matchmaking events to reach PHAs. Participation in local and international events, workshops, seminars, exhibitions where companies could be able to meet representatives of other similar companies (SMEs) and PHAs, would help companies to reach PHAs.
The most relevant threats for small market companies and their business were the difficulties to acquire investments for the development of new products/services and the lack of a qualified workforce.
Although there are slight differences within the Baltic Sea Region countries in regard to their previous experience in collaborating with PHAs and the evaluation of potential threats and future opportunities, the differences are not significant and most likely will not create obstacles for national and trans-national cooperation between SMEs and PHAs.
Sharing knowledge about the differences and the different experiences would be a useful learning experience for SMEs.
Therefore, matchmaking events and networking between SMEs and PHAs are essential and will foster cross-border collaboration between health IT SMEs and PHAs.
Collaboration can be the key to a successful product/service. It’s always in the interest of the future customer if companies/institutions work together.
BaltCityPrevention matchmaking events
This questionnaire was one of the activities within Interreg BSR Project BaltCityPrevention (Baltic Cities tackle lifestyle related diseases – The development of an innovative model for prevention interventions targeting public health authorities in the Baltic Sea Region).
To initiate networking and matchmaking, matchmaking events are organized within BaltCityPrevention project in different BSR countries.
The next event will be the session and discussion at Life Sciences Baltics 2018, ScanBalt Forum track 27th of September “Health IT SME Development in the Baltic Sea Region”.
Companies, public health authorities and investors will discuss how to how to collaborate to make the Baltic Sea Region a global hotspot for health it.
Get the programme and register at https://lsb2018.com/
13 June 2018
WHINN 2018 (Odense)