eHealth is worldwide one of the key growth sectors and Antwerp would like to occupy a unique position in this. Private partners, City of Antwerp, the University and hospitals combined their knowledge and expertise and together, founded BlueHealth Antwerp.
As an incubator, BlueHealth Antwerp supports and coaches starters who want to use digital technology to improve healthcare.
In and around the city of Antwerp, the growth potential for eHealth is huge. The city has more than 4,000 hospital beds across different hospitals and there are more than 20 healthcare facilities active. BlueHealth Antwerp seeks to link this extensive stock of patient data with the innovative ideas of young entrepreneurs. A 'living lab' where the legal boundaries of privacy remain constantly monitored.
BlueHealth Antwerp: a breeding ground for an innovative economy
BlueHealth coaches startups from their business plan to the moment they secure their first customers. This is done by transfer of knowledge and expertise, financial support and the development of a network. A study of the city of Antwerp showed that the eHealth industry has a need for networking, matchmaking, incubation and acceleration. That is where BlueHealth Antwerp comes in. In the long term, this partnership within eHealth should give entrepreneurship a shot in the arm.
BlueHealth Antwerp works from StartupVillage, which opened in early 2016 by the City of Antwerp to accommodate and coach incubation initiatives and growth companies. Via open calls, new startups are invited each year to sign up to the new incubation programs.
Facts & Figures:
In August 2015, six founding partners set up BlueHealth Antwerp.
Since the start in 2015, 21 dossiers have been submitted, from which two startups have been selected.
Selected startups receive EUR 50,000 in financial aid in return for 6% of the shares, to transform their business model into a sales-ready product of service.
Analysts predict that the value of the digital health market will nearly quadruple in the next few years: from USD 60.8 billion in 2013 to USD 233.3 billion in 2020.