The state of NRW is becoming increasingly attractive as a location for startups, especially in the healthcare industry. There are already 120 digital health startups in NRW and, according to a study conducted by the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) in collaboration with the Healthcare Living Lab in Düsseldorf, the trend is rising. According to the study, the number of companies focusing on digital products and digitally supported services is increasing rapidly. For example, some founders have developed platforms that can be used for various purposes: From personnel recruitment and training to digital health applications for prevention and therapy.
Within the study, participants were also asked about their experiences in NRW and for suggestions on how to optimize the location. Although the assessments of the startup location are largely positive, many still see room for improvement as exemplified by the neighboring Netherlands, where there is a long tradition in the area of digital health startups that work very closely with patients, universities and clinical institutions. This is something that many respondents in NRW still find lacking. The respondents also often see potential for expansion when it comes to the factors financing and market access, as well as a need to catch up on specific issues such as the regulatory framework: They frequently do not know whom to contact with certain questions. The "DigiHealthStart.NRW" project aims to address these points.