SME survey shows impact of COVID-19 on health tech and life sciences
Background: our early baseline study
In March/April 2020 we conducted an early baseline survey to understand the impact the COVID-19 crisis was having on the health tech and life sciences sector. In collaboration with One Nucleus and SEHTA, we invited responses from SMEs and start-ups, on the challenges and critical issues they face since the pandemic began.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of companies identified financial issues as their most critical issue. They also asked for better signposting and access to decision-makers, and more funding for COVID-19 related projects.
In May/June 2020 we conducted a follow-up survey to gain updates and further insights into the opportunities and constraints faced by SMEs in the health tech and life sciences sector as we move forward. The results of our follow-up survey are now available.
A total of 78 companies, who collectively employ 1,091 people in the life sciences sector, responded to the survey. The results have shown clearly how start-ups and SMEs have been significantly affected by COVID-19.
An overwhelming number of respondents are working on new products and services to help patients in contribution to the fight against COVID-19. Conversely, however, they are also facing huge challenges with funding and investment:
Over 90% of SMEs are currently developing new products and services that will benefit patients.
Half of those companies say the COVID-19 pandemic is having a detrimental impact on their ability to develop those products and services. SMEs feel the impact on their progress and growth will last up to one year.
In addition, the survey results point towards a potential move towards more home working, and detail challenges to returning to ‘business as usual’, as well as ongoing barriers to accessing government support schemes and funding.