Health Start-up Ecosystem Has New Platform to Showcase Growing Industry Importance

October 2019, Barcelona: Following the continued success of the Digital Health and Wellness Summit at 4YFN 2019, the GSMA today announced that 4YFN Barcelona 2020 will feature a specialist Health and Wellness Hub co-organised with the ECHAlliance. Start-ups from across the health sector will be able to participate in pitching sessions and a dedicated programme of networking activities with entrepreneurs and investors. The Health and Wellness Hub will occupy its own exhibition and networking space within 4YFN to complement the Digital Health and Wellness Summit – a day dedicated to thought leadership for the health sector on one of 4YFN’s summit stages.

Pere Duran, Director 4YFN said;

“The health sector is the source of arguably some of the most exciting developments in technology, from robotic surgery powered by 5G, to pharmaceutical research using artificial intelligence,”

“We were really impressed with the impact of the last Digital Health and Wellness Summit. The rapid growth of the health sector for start-ups and the enormously positive social impact that can be achieved through the vertical’s digitisation were clear at the last 4YFN Digital Health and Wellness Summit and were two very strong incentives for giving health a dedicated space in which to showcase and network.”

ECHAlliance Deputy Chair, Bleddyn Rees said

“Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors for start-ups and we are seeing incredible advances in the field of medicine, increasingly powered in large part by entrepreneurs and small businesses as the consumer health revolution gathers pace. We need a dedicated space to convene, discuss and network for all of the corporations, investors and start-ups that make up this vibrant ecosystem and 4YFN Barcelona is the perfect place to do so.”

The new vertical focus of the show will help investors, corporations and entrepreneurs navigate the 4YFN programme as it quickly expands and allows communities in specific interest areas to connect on the issues that are important to them. More than 70 start-ups have already signed up to exhibit within the hub, supported by partners including Biocat, EIT Health, Digital Attraxion, Barcelona Health Hub and ACCIO.

The Digital Health and Wellness Summit will continue for 2020 and will focus on key themes including robotic surgery, Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations in healthcare, health data and analytics, robotic surgery, the emergence of health app libraries and patient-centric approaches to healthcare services. The 4YFN Health and Wellness Hub represents the formalisation of the new vertical structure of 4YFN, with further verticals due to be announced. xside, the ground-breaking gathering of creative communities powered by 4YFN, Sonar and GSMA MWC is the creative hub of 4YFN Barcelona 2020.

A Burgeoning Industry

The digital health market globally has grown from $70 billion in 2015 to $172 billion in 20191, fuelled by advances in connectivity, corporate investment and start-up innovation.

The strong interest in the 4YFN Health and Wellness Hub underlines the strength of Barcelona as a biomedical centre for innovation in Europe.2 The healthcare and life sciences sector in Catalonia generates €34 billion a year, over 7 per cent of Catalan GDP and between 2015-2018, start-ups in the sector have attracted almost $495 million in investment, according to Biocat.3

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About 4YFN

4YFN is the start-up event of GSMA MWC supporting start-ups, investors and companies to connect and launch new ventures together. Hosted at the same time as MWC, the event in Barcelona attracts more than 23,000 attendees, 1000 investors, 700 start-ups and exhibitors and hosts more than 400 speakers.

The Health and Wellness Hub and the one-day Digital Health and Wellness Summit are co-organised with the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance), a global network of stakeholder groups that fosters innovation and collaboration in health and social care. At the 4YFN Health and Wellness Hub,4YFN and ECHAlliance arebringing together innovators and investors from across the healthcare sector to deliver a significant impact on the future of the vertical.

1 Statista 2017 Global Digital Health Market & Digital Health &Care Institute

2 www.catalonia.com/trade-with-catalonia/life-sciences.jsp


About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators and nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.