Irish healthcare sector sets its sights on increasing exports of healthcare innovation to the UAE and wider Middle East

  • Enterprise Ireland will host 20 Irish healthcare companies at its stand in Arab Health, the leading medical industry exhibition in the Middle East.
  • The Irish medtech industry exports over €13bn to over 100 countries every year, positioning Ireland as the second-largest exporter of medtech products in Europe.
  • Gulf region is a major growth market for Ireland, exports to United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in 2020 grew by 12% and 6% respectively. In 2020, Irish exports to both markets continued to grow, even against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a combined market value of close to €320 million Euros ($367 million USD).
  • In data captured by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, overall Irish exports of goods to Saudi Arabia grew in 2020, primarily due to increases of exports to €163.4m in Medical and Pharmaceutical Supplies.
  • Enterprise Ireland is actively involved in the healthcare market with many client companies such as Fleming Medical, Aerogen and Acetech working with local partners to provide leading healthcare and medtech solutions into the market.

3 February 2022

Dubai, UAE, 24th January 2022 - Irish healthcare sector sets its sights on the UAE and wider Middle East region to greatly increase Irish ‘medtech’ innovation into the region’s healthcare sector. With an increase of over 40% in Irish companies participating at Arab Health Exhibition this year compared to 2020, it demonstrates strong progress in the momentum in the region being achieved as part of the reinvigorated strategy by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government agency for trade and innovation, to increase the Irish healthcare exports to the UAE and wider region.

Twenty leading Irish medtech companies will be participating at the Middle East’s largest medical industry event, Arab Health Exhibition held in Dubai which aims to attract over 56,000 healthcare professionals looking for the latest innovation across the healthcare sector to benefit patients in the region. At the Exhibition., Enterprise Ireland will be showcasing the breadth of Irish leading healthcare innovation on its ‘Ireland’ stand which already has a packed booking for healthcare practitioners across the region keen to connect with the Irish delegation of healthcare innovators.

Ireland has forged a strong global reputation in the healthcare sector, especially with leading innovation in medtech that is being adopted across the world. As one of the leading digital tech and medtech hubs in the world, Ireland has delivered an increased supply of lifesaving equipment and new innovations in the fight against Covid-19 which has positioned the country fifth in the world for the global exports of Covid 19-related goods and services, according to the OECD.

Medtech is one of Ireland’s biggest success stories. One of the top five global medtech hubs, Ireland is home to up to 350 companies in the sector, including 14 of the world’s top 15 medtech companies. With 45,000 people employed in the sector, they are the largest medtech employer per capita in Europe. The Irish medtech industry exports to over 100 countries every year, worth over €13bn, positioning Ireland as the second-largest exporter of medtech products in Europe.

Deirdre Glenn, Director of Life Sciences at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Irish medtech companies proved how agile and flexible they were during the pandemic. Our focus has now turned to the post-Covid world, and how the pandemic has changed healthcare, both in terms of how we access it and in terms of how it is delivered. A lot of eyes are on Irish innovators, some of whom have already come up with exciting solutions.”

“Ireland has long been a leader in the medtech world. Our success is down to a combination of track record and forward thinking and a deep pool of experience and highly trained talent. This is boosted by a fertile ecosystem that integrates industry, research and the clinical community to promote high-quality innovation.”

With exports by Irish companies to the UAE continuing to grow – valued at €156m and up 12 per cent in 2020 on the previous year – Enterprise Ireland serves to bolster sales and partnership deals for its client companies and raise the profile of Ireland as an attractive trading partner, offering competitive, high quality and technologically advanced products and services. 

Leading the Irish trade agency’s participation at Arab Health, Eamon Sikafi, Senior Market Advisor at Enterprise Ireland MENA, said: “Irish medtech plays a central role in major industry shifts, including the move to preventative care, digitalisation outside of hospital settings, the emergence of new technologies, and the development of new distribution and inventory management models. Enterprise Ireland will showcase the latest healthcare solutions from 20 leading Irish medtech companies at Arab Health, with a focus on their contribution to shaping the post-pandemic healthcare world.”

The Middle East is an extremely important market for Irish company Aerogen, a global market leader in medical devices specialising in the design, manufacture and commercialisation of aerosol drug delivery systems. Having established a Middle East commercial office in Dubai in 2018, Aerogen has grown from a team of two to 10 full-time staff based in the region. In order to further strengthen their commitment over the coming years, Aerogen announced their partnership with Gulf Medical in KSA. This partnership will ensure that all hospitals in the KSA market will have access to training and support on Aerogen to ensure they can continue to deliver superior patient care. 

Enterprise Ireland is actively involved in the healthcare market in Saudi Arabia with many client companies such as Fleming Medical, working with local partners to provide leading healthcare and medtech solutions into the market, a process made easier due to the large number of Irish-trained, Saudi-based health professionals and the number of healthcare decision makers who have trained at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Dublin City University is also actively involved in the training of nurses in Saudi Arabia. 

Traditionally, Irish co-operation was entirely focused on medical education, but in 2020, Enterprise Ireland noted increased engagement between Saudi Arabia and its healthcare sector focused client companies due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In data captured by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, overall Irish exports of goods to Saudi Arabia grew in 2020, primarily due to increases of exports to €163.4m in Medical and Pharmaceutical Supplies.

During the Gulf trade mission led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD in December last year, providers of vehicle intelligence solutions for support of Pre-Hospital Care clients, ACETECH announced the signing of a multimillion-dollar contract with Bassam Trading (BTC) for a technology deal on emergency vehicles in KSA. ACETECH is a global manufacturer of vehicle intelligence for emergency service fleets. Their solutions include cloud-based fleet management software, specialist safety and eco-friendly modules and intelligent electronic control units, that integrate seamlessly with emergency service vehicles to boost their performance, improve safety and revolutionise the operation of the fleet.

Irish medtech companies at Arab Health that are collaborating with Middle East healthcare providers for improved healthcare capabilities:

  • Deciphex: For the UAE and MENA, Deciphex enables both the patient and the referring institution/physician the ability to refer to the top level of pathology sub-specialists without the need to travel. Deciphex is focused on the development of software applications for preclinical/toxicologic pathology that improve productivity and help pathologists focus on the critical content. Deciphex recently launched its clinical diagnostic service, Diagnexia, that provides on-demand access to remote subspecialty pathologists for primary diagnostics and secondary consult services, supporting the achievement of turnaround time goals and delivery of the highest quality of patient care. 
  • Medical Eguides Ltd.: MEG is set to expand their presence in the Middle East with a new office in the region, employing an on-ground regional business director and signing on new partners and deals in Saudi Arabia. MEG provides a suite of applications that can improve healthcare quality through audit, feedback, and reporting. It provides tools on mobile and tablet devices which provide real time results and alerts. The software also provides training information and guidelines to train staff at the point of care. Using this technology, audits are more accurate, it saves time and results are available instantly allowing teams to spend more time on improved patient care, reducing costs. MEG supports the vision to deliver great care for every patient every time with an intuitive, all-in-one digital quality management system connecting the key components of governance for quality, patient safety and compliance in one place. 
  • Mypatientspace: myPatientSpace are currently working in Europe, Middle East, Israel, and the Americas. myPatientSpace is a leading innovative digital health company, founded in 2017, powering connected patient solutions for global healthcare providers and life sciences companies. Its goal is to improve the healthcare experience for millions of patients globally by connecting them across their care journey. myPatientSpace achieves this by providing an innovative no-code platform that allows our customers to provide personalized medical grade digital companions for patients. They help make patient-centric care a reality. myPatientSpace is trusted by world leading healthcare institutions and today powers solutions in disease awareness, pre- and post-surgery care, chronic disease management and research trials in several therapy areas: Sleep, Oncology, Rheumatology, Respiratory, Chronic Kidney Disease, Orthopedics and others. 
  • Novaerus: In Q4 2021, Novaerus secured a new channel partner in UAE and Qatar. For over a decade, Novaerus has been providing medical-grade solutions that address a global problem; unhealthy indoor air. Led by a dedicated and highly skilled team of scientists, the company took a fundamentally different approach to air dis-infection, which led to the transformational discovery of NanoStrike – the unique, patented technology at the core of all Novaerus portable air dis-infection devices today. This nanotechnology inactivates all airborne microorganisms on contact providing the ¬first line of protection against viruses and bacteria. Utilising NanoStrike technology, Novaerus devices help to prevent the spread of infection in thousands of hospitals, senior living facilities, IVF clinics, dental offices, schools and homes around the world. 
  • Scope Healthcare: The complete and innovative ranges of eyecare, allergy, and well-being products from Scope are now available for distribution in EMEA, APAC and LATAM markets. Scope is a healthcare and pharmaceuticals company with locations in Ireland, UK and USA that provides healthcare professionals and patients with high quality, effective and innovative products. Ophthalmics Scope offers innovative eyecare products for AMD and ocular surface diseases, such as dry eye disease, blepharitis and MGD. Healthcare Scope offers a range of innovative products to pharmacies and health food stores, such as Bio Kult probiotics, Vivio Junior Multivitamin & Cough Syrup, Vivimune Immunity tonic, and many more. 
  • SureWash: SureWash helps hospitals within the GCC earn the Joint Commission International (JCI) Standards 'Gold Seal of Approval'. Seven of the JCI goals are directly related to SureWash features, promoting quality and patient safety. SureWash revolutionises hand hygiene training. The leading technology delivers on-site and remote training and assessment to the World Health Organization (WHO) protocol. The validated technology ensures training and education is accessible and convenient to help reduce hospital acquired infections and improve patient outcomes. Training and re-training is accessible 24/7 for medical professionals, patients, and visitors. The system encourages self-directed learning and provides objective, real-time feedback on the user’s hand hygiene technique during training. Customisable lessons and quizzes support the practical training to address gaps in knowledge within a facility. 
  • Vitalograph: Vitalograph recently signed new distribution partnerships in Kuwait and Jordan, and have a pipeline of projects and collaborations in the UAE set to be confirmed this year. A global leader in respiratory diagnostics, Vitalograph manufacture and supply high quality spirometers and medical devices which aid the detection, diagnosis and management of respiratory conditions. Its products are used in over 113 countries by medical professionals in healthcare and occupational health settings. Vitalograph have also delivered successful clinical trials for many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, biotech and contract research organisations. Its product range includes spirometers, lung and asthma monitors, COPD screeners, medical workstations as well as software and consumables. 
  • Solvotrin Therapeutics: Active Iron is clinically proven to be signi¬ficantly better absorbed than the gold standard ferrous sulphate but uniquely avoids the negative gastrointestinal side effects commonly associated with oral iron. Active Iron is available in 12 markets worldwide, including the UAE. Solvotrin Therapeutics is an Irish healthcare development company focused on optimising established therapies through innovative science with patent protection. Headquartered in Cork, Ireland, Solvotrin has a team of 20 people with the R&D team members located at Trinity College Dublin. Driven by innovative science, Solvotrin redesigns essential medicinal and healthcare products, making them safer and more effective. Solvotrin’s approach has produced two distinct patent-protected platforms with applications in a wide array of medical settings. The fi¬rst product range developed and successfully commercialised is the Active platform technology, led by a range of innovative oral iron products branded as Active Iron. 

“As we emerge from the pandemic, innovation in the industry continues at pace. We are moving into a world where healthcare needs have changed significantly and medtech innovations are needed more than ever before. And once again, Irish innovators are responding quickly with some great innovations,” Eamon added.

Other Enterprise Ireland client companies showcasing Ireland’s strength in the medtech industry at Arab Health include:

  • Aerogen: Aerogen is the world’s leading medical device company specialising in the design, manufacture and commercialisation of aerosol drug delivery systems. Its patented vibrating mesh technology turns liquid medication into a ¬fine particle mist, gently and effectively delivering drugs to the lungs of critically ill patients. The company, with a wealth of international awards, has a strong international presence with offices in Ireland, UK, Germany, United States, Middle East, Asia and India. 
  • CF Pharma Ireland Ltd: Cf Pharma is an ISO 13485 and HACCP accredited company based in Ireland that manufactures a range of novel specific Health Food Supplements, Medical Device Formulations and Advanced Topical Dermatological Solutions for both the Human and Animal Healthcare. 
  • Fleming Medical Ltd: Fleming Medical pride themselves in having over 30 years’ experience in developing and supplying of medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, consumables and products to both the Irish and international healthcare and pharmacy industries. Fleming Medical are innovators and lead the way in chronic health conditions through the adaption of wearable technology to healthcare solutions. Fleming along with NUIG, RCSI & The Tyndall Institute are developing Dermatrax, the world’s fi¬rst smart wound care dressing whereby a wound dressing will assess the wound viability via sensors that send the information to an app for a more accurate assessment thus reducing wound care costs and patient discomfort. 
  • HealthSectorTalent: HealthSectorTalent, also known as HST, is an award-winning healthcare talent consultancy founded on a culture that is passionate about transforming the way healthcare providers, state agencies and governments manage the acquisition of both clinical and non-healthcare talent. From creating and delivering talent attraction strategies to designing applicant flows and providing outsourced recruitment process administration, its customisable client-focused talent acquisition solutions support direct supply, hybrid RPO and end-to-end recruitment. By focusing on the entire talent acquisition ecosystem including strategy, processes, attraction and candidate management, HST deliver greater predictability of supply and a lower candidate acquisition cost through a partnership that goes beyond simply fi¬lling a vacancy. 
  • HiberGene Diagnostics Ltd: HiberGene Diagnostics is a Dublin-based, private Irish company, that develops, manufactures, and markets molecular diagnostic tests for the direct detection of human infectious diseases, using the LAMP (Loop Mediated Isothermal Ampli¬cation) technology. In 2020, HiberGene successfully completed the CE marking of a new fast molecular COVID-19 test. Positive results are returned within a few hours, enabling rapid diagnosis of the disease at the early and highly infectious stage of infection. With its expanding HG product line, HiberGene is committed to providing rapid and highly accurate testing solutions, which are cost effective and simple to use. HG tests address the unmet clinical need for a rapid, highly accurate and simple testing solution, making them ideal for use in a wide range of clinical, near patient and laboratory environments.
  • Kersia: Kersia is a global leader in biosecurity and food safety with value added products and solutions to prevent diseases or contamination in both animals and humans at every stage of the food supply chain. The company also offers solutions to the healthcare sector. Kersia operates in more than 120 countries with a workforce of over 1,500 people and a turnover of more than €300 million. With Kersia, farmers, food processing plants and retailers have the most trusted partner with the scientifi¬c and fi-eld experience to identify risks and deliver innovative solutions.
  • T-Pro: T-Pro is a global leader in clinical documentation improvement software. Their AI driven solutions enable workflows for efficient and accurate speech recognition, medical transcription, messaging, telehealth, document distribution and coding. T-Pro facilitates a patient centred solution by making it easy for doctors to capture the patient narrative, and by delivering information when it is needed most – at the point of care. T-Pro’s technology allows healthcare providers to voice enable their existing EPR, reduce transcription costs, outsource overflow tasks. Over 500 Client organisations and over 20,000 active users enjoy the benefi¬ts of T-Pro solutions today. Recently, T-Pro accelerated AI technology strategy for healthcare with the consolidation of Indian service providers under T-Pro Medical PVT. 
  • ACETECH: A global supplier of software and vehicle solutions for the emergency services market, Acetech designs innovative cloud-based fleet performance software, specialist modules for safety, eco-friendliness and asset protection, and intelligent control systems for healthcare providers and government bodies. These solutions integrate seamlessly with emergency service vehicles to help them perform better. ACETECH’s scalable integrated solution helps track all emergency vehicles and assets, coaches safe and productive driving, and reduces fuel consumption. 
  • Empeal: A health risk management tool focused on prevention and management of chronic diseases, the Empeal platform gathers medical, nutrition, lifestyle, behaviour data, personal goals data from users through interactive questionnaires and integrated technologies like wearables for practitioners to visualise early trend. These data points are linked using unique algorithms to deliver highly personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes. Empeal work with RCSI's Centre for Positive Health and Psychology and are the technology partner of CPL's Future of Work. 
  • Gasgon Medical: Gasgon Medical is an award-winning start-up medical device company, based in Cork, Ireland, developing innovative fluid management products for the clinical market. Gasgon tackles the challenges of making IV infusions better for patients and clinicians. In December 2021 the company closed a seed round of €2m to manufacture and launch its premier device, AirVault. The company was recently awarded as overall winner, with a prize of €100,000, at Seedcorn, the largest business competition in Ireland.
  • Medfind Solutions: Established in August 2015, MSL Healthcare are active across Irish hospitals and retail pharmacies, focusing on strong, value-added products which make a real difference to patients’ lives. With a combined experience in the Irish healthcare market of over 40 years, it aims to build a quality offering that empowers the physician to make an informed decision regarding their patient's therapy. A further major strength lies in their ability to access key customers, payers, and stakeholders across all Irish hospitals. Recently, the company commenced the trading of MedFind UK Ltd, which can source and supply UK products for export markets as well as seeking partners for supply of unlicensed medicines to the UK and Irish markets. They also provide distribution facilities to business partners who wish to establish new operations in the UK and Ireland.
  • O'Flynn Medical: O’Flynn Medical is a family-owned company specialising in the supply and rental of medical equipment and service to the HSE, care facilities and private homes across Ireland. Since its establishment in 2002, it has gone from being a small maintenance company working in the healthcare sector, to a company who supply specialist innovative healthcare products across Europe. Scrubex, its scrub management system, has been saving money, tightening infection control procedures and improving the effectiveness of HSE hospital laundries since its introduction into the Irish Health Service in 2008. Now, it is also the preferred solution in Acute Hospitals in the UK and Germany. Its Stryker high end, pressure relieving products are proving to be reliable, clinically effective and cost effective across all areas of the Irish Health Service. The innovative O'Flynn Medical tablet crushing system is now being introducing into the UK market.

With a packed four-day programme, Arab Health is expected to attract over 56,000 leading healthcare providers from all over the world, all of whom look to Ireland for solutions, with the hope of co-developing and commercialising new medical technologies with Irish innovation at its core. Ireland has clearly played a huge role in shaping global healthcare and that role looks to be growing even further as we move through this period of recovery.

Notes to EditorEnterprise Ireland’s Arab Health participation and associated events have been organised in line with Irish and local market Covid-19 regulations and travel requirements.

About Enterprise Ireland

  • Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency.
  • We invest in the most innovative Irish companies through all stages of their growth and connect them to international customers across multiple industries.
  • Our goal is to build successful, long-term business relationships between international companies and Irish partners.
  • With 40 offices worldwide, including in the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh), Enterprise Ireland’s teams of industry experts consult with international businesses to understand and solve their business needs.

For reference, please contact: Robin Gordon-Farleigh, Founding Partner at Manara Global Tel: +971 50 580 9988. E: [email protected]  .