Barcelona Health Hub: From Barcelona to the World

What an honour for Barcelona Health Hub to be recognised as one of the top digital health hubs. This recognition means a lot to us. Barcelona Health Hub (BHH) is a young institution, born in November 2018 in Barcelona with a clear mission: to promote innovation in digital health and its transfer to the sector, connecting the different actors like startups, health institutions, health professionals, corporate companies, investors, legal and regulatory experts etc. In just over 2 years, we have built an international community of more than 250 members and positioned ourselves as a referent not only in the local ecosystem but also globally, proving the importance and the necessity of such hubs. 

Even though we are based in Barcelona, we have positioned ourselves as an international hub from day one. The official language of the hub is English: all our publications and communications are in English, our big annual event and most of the other events we do during the year are in English. It’s very important for us because we believe that the digital health market is the world and we want our members to thrive not just in Spain but all across the world. 

A hub like BHH has benefits for each of its members:

  • Startups and entrepreneurs get visibility, access to potential customers and support in topics such as GDPR, MDR, company constitution through our network of experts. 
  • Investors have a go-to-place to find all the entrepreneurs active in their fields.
  • Corporates and healthcare institutions can keep up to date not only with all the latest innovations but also with the players working on those solutions and get to know them first hands.

What makes BHH special is the fact that we are a vertical hub, focused only and exclusively on healthcare and innovation which makes networking and relationship building easier and more efficient. We are also located on the premises of the former hospital Sant Pau, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage museum that you can visit. All the people who have been visiting us can testify of the magnificence of the place. It’s an absolute privilege to be working in such a location. Being part of Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site means that we have a very close relationship with Sant Pau hospital and we are working closely with them to make more collaborations happen between our startup members and the hospital, through pilots or commercial agreements. 

In a recent interview with Giant Health in the Healthy Innovators Live TV, Barry Shrier was asking me what makes an ecosystem successful. I think that the location plays an important role. We are lucky to be in Barcelona. It’s an attractive city, a great place to live – sun, sea, mountains, culture, leisure are at a blink of an eye and it helps creativity and keeps the spirits up. The city is easily connected to the world, it is amongst the top technological cities with some of the best clinics and university hospitals recognized worldwide. Without a doubt it makes Barcelona a very attractive city where talents want to settle and add their expertise. 

Another key aspect to a successful ecosystem is collaboration. That’s why we have been establishing partnerships with digital health hubs and institutions across the globe, many of whom were recognized in the digital health hub list, like ECH Alliance, Frontiers Health and others like Vision Health Pioneers, Matter Health, Hospital y Centro de Innovacion Austral, etc Those collaborations are key not only to support our members and help them scaleup but to have a major impact on the healthcare ecosystems globally. 

We are looking forward to keeping growing and establishing more meaningful relationships with other digital health hubs across the globe to serve and support our members. We also have exciting projects to grow our hub in the coming months: expansion of the hub in Sant Pau Modern Site with new pavillions to welcome more companies, building the ‘hospital of the future’ to enable startups to test their solutions in a real setting, setting up of the 5G space in BHH in a few weeks, creation of an incubator as well as the creation of the Madrid Health Hub.

By Aline Noizet, Chief International Officer at Barcelona Health Hub

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