The healthcare sector focus will be on pharmaceuticals, medical devices, hospital services and logistics including assisted technology and care.
Danish products and services are highly valued in Italy and Denmark stands for high quality, innovation and reliability; but also for a successful society model and the way we do business. Italy is the fourth largest pharmaceutical market in Europe and has a total healthcare expenditure of EUR 149 billion (75% financed by government spending) each year, with pharmaceuticals accounting for more than EUR 30 billion and medical devices of around EUR 10 billion. The annual Danish export to Italy accounts for EUR 2.2 billion and pharmaceuticals are among the top 10 export groups with EUR 285 million in 2017, predicted to grow by 26% in 2018.
According to the World Health Organization, the Italian healthcare system is the third most efficient in the world. High standards within general healthcare, well-being and life expectancy combined with sound-established health policies and welfare measures, has made important contributions to the population´s health and life expectancy.
Mortality rates in Italy are among the lowest in the EU, partially due to a steady reduction in mortality caused by cardiovascular diseases. The average life expectancy in Italy is among the highest in the world: 79.4 years for men and 84.5 years for women. Italy also has the lowest number of alcohol-related deaths in the EU partially due to an overall low consumption of alcohol. Smoking, however, is still a significant issue, especially among adolescents, and the battle against lung cancer and other smoking-related deaths.
Developments in demographics and population size show favourable trends for new health care solutions and services. Budgetary pressure is creating needs for better spending within the sector, and resources are increasingly being reallocated towards value-based healthcare, requesting products that can provide better health outcomes in cost-effective ways. Companies with innovative solutions and services within for instance preventive care, remote monitoring and early identification of at-risk-patients, are increasingly gaining market in Italy. This also includes health promotion, i.e. educating people to stay healthy and to prevent development of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. All the above indicators calls for new solutions for healthcare delivery and services.
When it comes to applications of ICT in the healthcare sector, Italy lags behind other EU countries. In 2017, just 1.2% of the total health care budget was invested in ICT, which is less than in other developed countries. However, investment in healthcare ICT is expected to increase in the coming years, and there are still widespread opportunities for Danish companies within this sector- and particularly within electronic health records, cloud computing, administrative management, digital management of drugs, mobile health and business intelligence and clinical governance.