Tussell healthtech report: growth, challenges & opportunity
Tussell has released a report on the UK healthtech market, analysing the trends and opportunities in the provision of healthcare technology to the public sector. It has revealed some interesting findings into healthtech spending across the UK and where the opportunities lie for businesses in the sector to work with healthcare bodies.
The rise and rise of healthtech
One of the positive findings for suppliers is that public spending on healthtech continues to increase year on year. Q1 to Q3 of 2020 saw healthcare spending on IT and technology firms reach £1.34bn, compared to just over £1.3bn over the same period in 2019 and £1.13bn in 2018. Though the growth rate is slowing, these figures show that the market is expanding, bringing with it opportunities for healthtech providers. It will be interesting to see how 2021’s figures compare for this period as the pandemic has continued to impact the healthcare sector and its reliance on digital solutions.
In terms of which healthcare bodies are spending this money, the report revealed that trusts and health boards spent £4.1bn on technology between 2016–2020, nearly £3bn more than the next largest spender, the Department of Health (£1.4bn), and well over double what Central Bodies and CCGs spent combined (£2.5bn). This suggests that the primary market healthtech organisations need to be focussed on is trusts and health boards across the UK, though that doesn’t mean opportunities don’t lie in other areas of the sector.
The big players dominate, for now
However, there are still challenges providers face, particularly SMEs and new players in the market. Tussell found that just 10 suppliers took home over half (£3.548bn) of the total healthtech spending between 2016–2020. Though there is a silver lining for smaller companies, as healthtech spending with SMEs is slowly increasing, showing that marketing opportunities are there and growing.
Where the opportunities lie
The final interesting finding from the report is on contracts that are coming up for grabs. A lot of hardware and software licences will be coming to an end over the next year and a half, presenting 218 and nearly £200m worth of business opportunities to suppliers. In terms of the immediate future, £28m worth of infrastructure and maintenance contracts expire in June 2021, so suppliers need to act fast if they want to take advantage of this.
In summary, the Tussell report shows that healthtech is continuing to grow in importance in the UK and the opportunities are there for businesses to be a part of it, though the challenge, especially for SMEs and start-ups, is making their voices heard. I would suggest that if these smaller organisations want to make an impact and expand their market share, they need to be getting their key messaging and offerings in front of the right audiences, demonstrating their expertise to decision makers and how they can help improve services for bodies, staff and patients.