Introduction to the Czech Ecosystem


On 30 September under the V4 Healthcare programme of @Startup Campus financed by the @International Visegrad Fund in collaboration with @CIVITTA, @DEX Innovation Hub and @Startup Hub Poland we present to you “The Introduction to the Czech Ecosystem” workshop. We will showcase the opportunities that domestic and foreign health ventures can enjoy in Hungary.


The Czech Republic has great research expertise in healthcare and a few pioneering hospitals eager to pilot and implement innovative solutions. There are many medical technology, biotechnology, and digital technology startups and SMEs here, however not that many business angels and venture capital firms investing in healthcare. If you are willing to learn more about the opportunities in the Czech Republic, come and join us for this online workshop. You will learn about the Czech hospital, research, startup and investment ecosystem, the main players, cases, and good practices here.


Michal Stefan works as a leader of many healhcare Innovation initiatives. He manages the 4DigitalHealth programme for digital health startups, organizes frequently Morning Health Talks with key healthcare Innovation stakeholders and leads initiaves focused on exchange of good practices in health innovations and co-creation in digital health. He has also vast expertise in product management, project management and business development. He will represent DEX Innovation Hub, that is a co-organising institution in this program.


What do you think, what are the main challenges of the healthcare industry in the post-covid era? 


"There is a need for a top-level and infrastructure support for digitization in healthcare, especially for health data flows, standards and cybersecurity. Also, education and capacities of healthcare workers are limited and all innovations even in telemedicine and digital health now on the rise need to be designed with this in mind. Thirdly, investments into healthcare innovations are hard and taking a lot of time requiring specific procedures."


How can innovation solve these issues?


"Innovations can target some of the most critical challenges such as health data and cybersecurity for which there is a big need."


What is your best advice for the healthcare startups of the future?


"Innovations should be designed from bottom-up approach always starting with the real needs of the target groups. Build your best expert mix team right at start - the team is 90% of your success!"


Lenka Lhotská works on the longterm application of artificial intelligence in biomedical data and signal processing, exploitation of mobile technologies in healthcare and telemedicine and usage of assistive technologies. She leads department of cognitive systems and neurosciences at Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics and leads department of natural sciences at Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at Czech Technical University in Prague.


Martin May works as a consultant for healthcare digitalization with major Czech hospitals. Currently, he is focusing on the application of mobile apps in daily hospital operations, working together with doctors and nurses, to design modern apps to improve their work as well as efficiency of treatment. He also works as a product/business development manager at Bindworks. He spends his free time working as a mentor or consultant for healthcare projects with several NGOs. Recently his projects were in cesko. digital, Impact Hub, and 4DigitalHealth program.


We asked Martin prior to the webinar to understand his thoughts on the topic, stemming from the public healthcare sector:


What do you think, what are the main challenges of the healthcare industry in the post-covid era? 


"The healthcare providers and the entire healthcare system need to build resilience to future disruptions.Among other problems, the healthcare ecosystem should be able to better utilize its capacity and resources at times of crisis.Another problem is that the current healthcare ecosytem system is still highly fragmented. The information flow is disrupted between different actors, sometimes even between different clinics in the same hospital."


How can innovation solve these issues?


" There is a huge opportunity in the digitalization of healthcare. Healthcare needs to move from a fragmented network of hospitals and clinics to a highly connected, patient-centric environment. Online real-time communication of all actors should improve decision-making. Shared information about the capacity of hospitals and their departments will improve the overall utilization of available resources with a positive impact on public health."


What is your best advice for the healthcare startups of the future?


 "While medical personnel usually know what problems they need to solve, they don't have the time and capacity to build solutions themselves. So the recommendation is to be close to your clients, don't be afraid to talk directly to doctors, nurses, and patients, and get real inspiration and feedback from the field. It will improve your products and keep you on track to success."

 

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.