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MAGAZINE Business for better health




Picture: From left US Ambassador Barry B. White, Innovation Norway Senior VP Finn Christian Aamodt, Oslo Medtech CEO Kathrine Myhre, Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton and Oslo Medtech COB Carl Christian Gilhuus-Moe. Photo: Kristin Svorte.


State of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton lead Minnesota businesses and organizations on a mission to Europe in June which included a stop in Oslo. The goal of the trip was to strengthen and expand Minnesota’s dynamic relationship with Norway in the medtech field of R&D, innovation, business creation and investment. Together with the U.S. Embassy, Oslo Medtech organized a meeting for members and associates to meet the U.S. medtech experts in the field of reimbursement, commercialization and how to establish your company in the U.S. market. The program included an update and general overview of the respective regions and business opportunities within medtech and eHealth/Welfare technology, as well as lecture sessions on various topics that impact the success or failure of


Oslo Medtech and its 1 50 members became the most innovative cluster in Norway 201 3. The prize is given by Innovation Norway. From left to right, Oslo Medtech chairman Carl Christian Gilhuus-Moe, Oslo Medtech CEO Kathrine Myhre and moderator Kathrine Aspaas. Photo: Innovation Norway.

early stage companies entering the U.S. market. “Go to Market" lectures focused on giving the Norwegian medtech and eHealth/Welfare technology companies “hands on tools and experiences” in how to navigate to be able to reach the U.S. market.

Medtech entrepreneur Marte Bratlie. Photo: Gorm K. Gaare.

IDEA TO PROTOTYPE Just over a year ago, the 30 year old doctor and Ph. D. student Marte Bratlie had an idea. Today she has a company and a patent pending prototype. Marte Bratlie and the company she started, RemovAid, shows that even in the development of medtech equipment it is possible to take great strides in a short time. While Marte Bratlie worked with contraceptive related issues, she noted that the use of long-acting contraceptives, like birth control implant, has shown strong growth over the recent years. Based on her experiences, she started questioning the established procedures to remove the implants. The implants are inserted into the inner side of the upper arm. It consists of one (or two) plastic rods, about the size of a matchstick, which contain long acting, slow-release progestogen and provides safe and effective protection against pregnancy. The idea is to develop a device which will simplify the process of removing the contraception rods. Currently, there are no such devices in the market.



Published by Oslo Medtech

Chairman: Carl Christian Gilhuus­Moe

Editor­in­chief: Kathrine Myhre CEO Oslo Medtech +47 930 69 634 kathrine.myhre@

Cecilie Nordbø Marketing Communications Manager +47 930 31 593 cecilie.nordbo@

Cecilie Louise Buøen Innovative Procurement +47 404 19 853 cecilie.buoen@

Tone Yrvum Advisor Healthcare Innovation + 47 413 14 891 tone.yrvum@

Egil Utheim Innovation Advisor +47 97502170 egil.utheim@ Adress: Oslo Medtech Gaustadalléen 21 0349 Oslo, Norway

Welcome to Norway! Vibrant Norwegian healthcare businesses are developing and producing products and services for close to NOK 35 billion a year and almost half of it is related to medical devices and health ICT. Norway has numerous medtech companies using cutting edge technologies to develop innovative products and services, which in turn can contribute to more efficient and economic sustainable healthcare systems, in Norway and internationally. The NOK 7 billion which Norway annually invests in health related R&D represents a solid base for developing quality products and services needed to compete in international markets. The Norwegian government has also put in place several measures to better exploit the value creation potential in excellent R&D. The well-developed health care system in Norway serves well as test arena for both Norwegian and international companies. The Intervention Centre at The Oslo University Hospital is a unique test facility designed to attract the international industry to conduct R&D and clinical trials and testing. We believe the Norwegian medtech sector and the public health care system provide attractive opportunities to forge partnerships between Norwegian and international companies, partnerships which are vital to create the competitiveness needed in international health markets.


Cover Photo: Olav Olsen Aftenposten / NTB scanpix Print: Kraft Digitalprint AS

Kathrine Myhre



Norway has a vibrant healthcare sector, developing and producing innovative products for close to NOK 35 billion. About half of this is related to medical devices and health ICT.


MINISTERS RALLY FOR HEALTH: While most Norwegian medtech companies are still young, demographic changes, a well-developed health care system and more aggressive efforts by the Norwegian government drive their growth. Increased purchasing power among the population in the developing countries, growth in lifestyle related diseases and demographic changes contribute to the increasing demand for health and welfare technology worldwide. A well-developed public health care sector in Norway spends over NOK 100 billion in purchasing goods and services, and it will continue to increase in the years to come. Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske recently emphasized health and welfare technology as a key priority in the coming years, and signaled new measures to make sure Norwegian businesses are able to take a part of the great potential represented by health and welfare technology. In a key whitepaper earlier this spring Minister of Health and Care Services Jonas Gahr Støre urged the business community to actively participate in solving the major challenges in the health care sector in the years to come. A HUGE MARKET POTENTIAL: We are facing demographic challenges unprecedented in recorded history. In Norway, the number of seniors over 67 will increase from about 600.000 in 2010 to 1.1 million by 2045. Meanwhile, we will have a de-

crease in the number of people working in the health care sector. Increased efficiency using new and innovative products and services is needed to solve this challenge. The Norwegian Government has announced a new national program for the development and implementation of welfare technologies and services, which shall be an integral part of healthcare by 2021. The government also conducts strategic initiatives in certain areas of medical relevance, among other ICT. This opens up a potentially huge market for medtech, eHealth and gamification companies in Norway. "Norwegian medtech industry is relative small compared to some of our major industries, but the technological quality is good, the sector is innovative and has many companies that develop competitive products and services," says Ole Jørgen Marvik, Sector Head, Health and Life Sciences at Innovation Norway. The sector also have a solid competence base, and several strong niches, for instance within image-guided diagnosis and intervention, wireless communication, rehabilitation and emergency medicine. Healthcare is also a priority for Innovation Norway, where internationalization is a key issue in order to leverage the innovative products and services being developed in Norway. Young Norwegian medtech companies face challenges when they wish to compete in international markets. The buyers are




Imatis founder Morten Andresen shows Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske and Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs, Rigmor Aaserud how the clinical workflow and logistics works at A-hus.

THE HOSPITAL TOOLBOX: "We have noticed that there is a

great interest from the medtech industry to take advantage of The Intervention Centre as a testbed," says Jacob Bergsland, MD, Ph.D, at Oslo University Hospital. The testbed is being developed together with Oslo Medtech, a 150+ member strong cluster of companies and research organizations. The Intervention Centre is a special department at Oslo University Hospital, established in 1996 to facilitate R&D, and to develop and test new procedures and technology. "The centre is expanding its capacity and will increase its staff and provide a better organization,"says Oslo Medtech chairman Carl Christian Gilhuus-Moe. The centre was established to create a link between clinical practice, applied and basic research. As it was organized as an independent unit within the hospital, it has been possible to conduct cross-disciplinary research in a unique way. The centre is like a toolbox for the hospital, it is a multi disciplinary facility created to take advantage of all the various departments in the hospital. "The Intervention Centre is a core facility, and we work with multiple departments at the Oslo University Hospital and other hospitals as well. This means that we can leverage all the R&D, technology and knowledge available," Jacob Bergsland says. With 20.000 employees the hospital is one of the largest in northern Europe, and a leading hospital in cancer treatment, transplant surgery, pediatric medicine and surgery, neuro and

often public institutions, which tend to prefer larger companies perceived to be more reliable suppliers.. "Our main goal is to support individual businesses and simultaneously stimulate cooperation. Business partnerships could create more competitive products and comprehensive service solutions for international markets. An established market player, Norwegian or international, could form the core of such consortia," says Ole Jørgen Marvik. Innovation Norway has various financial mechanisms at its disposal to support and encourage such partnerships, in addition to various programs supporting company networks when they want to expand internationally. Innovation Norway`s offices in Europe, America and Asia can further assist companies reaching out to international markets. The presence of international healthcare companies in the Norwegian market is also important for Norwegian companies. The development of The Intervention Centre at Oslo University Hospital is important in this context because it can attract international players who could be potential partners for Norwegian companies. "One of our advantages in Norway is a good public health system, which can serve as test arenas for both Norwegian and international companies," says Ole Jørgen Marvik.



The combination of early phase development and the ability to perform almost any type of clinical trials makes The Intervention Center one of a very few in the world.

- Norway's public health system can serve as test arena.

Ole Jørgen Marevik, Innovation Norway.

Jacob Bergsland, MD, PhD, Oslo University Hospital.

cardiac surgery and medicine. The Intervention Centre already has a long experience as a development and test centre for medical devices for many multinational medtech companies. Attractive European legislation allows for faster and simpler procedures for approval of medical devices, thus creating the potential to shorten the often expensive time-to-market phase. The Intervention Centre offers advanced and technologically cutting edge surgical facilities approved for both human and animal studies. "The combination of early phase development and the ability to perform almost any type of clinical trials on both animals and humans makes The Intervention Center one of a very few in the world," says Jacob Bergland. A highly competent staff includes employees from 15 different countries who bring leading medical and technological expertise from around the world. The staff at the centre include doctors, nurses, physicists, radiographers and engineers. Since the establishment by the pioneers Erik Fosse, MD,Ph.D and Frode Lærum, MD, Ph.D, the centre has published over 400 scientific articles and over 25 Ph.Ds have earned their degrees through research at the Intervention Centre. Since 1996, the centre has conducted around 10.000 human and 1000 animal procedures.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: "Together with NEMKO, as a notified body,

CROs like LINK Medical and Oslo Medtech, The Intervention Centre offers services as a one-stop-shop for medtech companies to facilitate their test needs, and an attractive route to the European markets," Bergsland says. Bergsland also pinpoint Oslo University Hospital as the most advanced in Norway, and a foundation for scientific credibility. Thus, the test results generated at the center are trustworthy. "Another important aspect is our patients. They have a high degree of trust in Oslo University Hospital as an institution, and the willingness to take part in trials is high. That’s not always the case at other similar institutions around the world," Bergsland says. Of course all testing and research is done according to strict safety- and ethical standards established in Norway. "Going forward, we will expand our facilities with more operating theaters including hybrid rooms, giving us more facilities to test and develop new and better medical technology," Bergsland adds. DNV Nemko Presafe is a global testing and Certification Company specialized in the medical industries. "In collaboration with The Intervention Center, we can handle most parts a customers needs," says Steinar Megaard, Vice President at Nemko. "We provide market access for our customers´ products worldwide through a global presence with efficient and reli-



SimSurgery is originally a spin off from The Intervention Centre at Oslo University Hospital. The company was founded 1999, and develops and provides simulator training for surgical skills and procedures, in particular training of laparoscopic surgical skills. SimSurgery has always maintained a strong technology focus, based on applied mathematics, graphics and computer science. The simulators are based on advanced virtual reality technology, developed within the company. "We like to say that we are in the training sector. It has great potential, but the competition is stiff, and there is still way to go before the full potential is realized, both for us and our competitors," says Hermansen. When discussing the opportunities for Norwegian medtech companies, Hermansen points to the public procurement system. "It can be too rigid and raises the barriers for smaller companies and new technologies and solutions. There is a potential for improvement here," says Hermansen.

IT'S ALL ABOUT WILL TO CREATE: "There is no reason why Norway should not be able to compete in the medtech industry. With smart heads and good solutions, it is all about the will to create something new. The medtech sector is growing worldwide and filled with potential," says Arild Hermansen, CEO at the Oslo based medtech company SimSurgery.


able compliance, assessment and services. DNV Nemko Presafe is a joint-venture between the independent foundations Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Nemko. The Danish certification body DGM Denmark is now also integrated," says Megaard. Link Medical, a CRO (contract research organization), is complementing the testbed and certification facilities of The Intervention Centre at Oslo University Hospital and DNV Nemko Presafe. "We are an international full service CRO with 60 employees based in the Scandinavian countries," says Dr. Ola Gudmundsen, LINK Medical CEO and founder. "The medtech sector is very interesting in a number of ways. It’s growing, the number of businesses is increasing and we also experience more international medtech companies entering Norway. Also, the regulatory regime is getting tighter. Deep knowledge about the regulatory regime and government relations are important parts of our services," says Gudmundsen.



Q: In a recently published whitepaper the Ministry for Trade and Industry emphasized health and welfare technology as an important industry for Norway. The government wants to encourage Norwegian medtech companies to take part in the great wealth creation that the demand for new solutions and welfare technology poses. The industry is currently relatively small in Norway. What specific measures stand out as key to building a sustainable business in this sector? A:- Norway has a strong welfare production, a well-organized society and a population with a high willingness to adopt new solutions. It is a good venue for the development of new welfare solutions. It can give our companies a competitive advantage and opportunities to stay ahead in development. The government has implemented and is implementing a number of measures to make the leap from potential to reality. - We will also have in place a national program for how these technologies can be developed and applied in municipalities. - Several research centers are medically oriented, and we have launched the program FORNY2020 to support the commercialization of research. Innovation Norway has over the last two years supported industrial development in the health sector with around NOK 150 million per year. In addition, we carry out strategic initiatives in certain areas of medical relevance.

Q: The public sector is a major purchaser of goods and services in the health care sector, and thus constitutes a large part of the market. The whitepaper emphasize the need for quality and innovation in public procurements. In what way will the Government contribute to a better functioning market, which can also make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to be able compete to provide products and services?

A: - If we can organize public procurements in such a way that they will lead to more innovative solutions, this could contribute to increased value creation in several ways. It will contribute to added value creation in business, improve services to citizens and savings for the public in that goods and services are provided better and more efficiently. - Earlier this year, the government published a strategy for increased innovation in public procurement. Here, we review the key challenges and presents measures to meet them. The most important thing is to improve the procurement practice in the public sector. It should be easy to make the purchases that provide users with the best service in the long run.

Q: Development of new products and services in health care technology can be both time consuming and costly. At the same time, many early stage companies in this area experience difficulties to obtain sufficient risk capital. Which measures can the Government employ to ensure access to sufficient risk capital for both good innovation projects and this kind of businesses? A: - We help businesses with access to capital through various public sector funding agencies and schemes. The schemes are often aimed at projects that would not otherwise have been carried out, or only at a smaller scale or at a later time. There are several measures that may be appropriate for companies in the health care sector. - Innovation Norway offers a number of grant programs for entrepreneurs and established businesses. One of the most important is research and development contracts. This scheme is nationwide and open to all industries, and the health care sector is one of the main beneficiaries. In addition, we have initiated up to six new national seed funds in cooperation with private investors.


Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske. Photo: Gorm K. Gaare.

"The government has implemented and is implementing a number of measures to make the leap from potential to reality," says Norway's Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Trond Giske.

Superbugs are among our most serious threats 1 00.000 patients die from hospital acquired infections (HAI) in the USA each year. This represents the 3rd most common cause of death. Figures for Norway 201 3 shows a 40% increase of multi-resistant Staphylococcus . Overuse of antibiotics creates resistant bacteria’s that develop rapidly and live longer in the environment. New tools to secure patient safety, reduce hospitalizations and costs, are much needed.

A new innovative solution is available DeconX™ is a solution that

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PICTURES: Harald Jellum, CEO, Healtbook (left), Christian Hall, CEO, Healthbooks (below left) and Odd Arild Lehne, CEO, PubGene. Photo: OMI

Searching the medical cloud SEARCHING SECOND OPINIONS: Looking for the best doctor or hospital in the world to cure your particular illness? The patient's need for a second opinion when looking for the right treatment; that is the business concept for Healthbook AS. Norwegian serial ICT entrepreneur, Harald Jellum, the last years busy with establishing another web business service, Companybook, plans to launch Healthbook this fall. «Consumers are more and more aware of the importance of second opinions due to the high number of wrong treatments,» Harald Jellum, CEO of Helthbook, says. Using the same patented search technology as Companybook, the Healthbook engine will search information from more than 3 million sources. Healthbook use state of the art technology to collect information from web, databases, news, social media, live ex-

perts and provide the user with a tool to search a second opinion. «Getting another doctor's view can dramatically change a treatment plan and even a diagnosis. Research finds it happens in as many as 30 percent of cases,» Harald Jellum says.

PERSONAL MEDICAL RECORDS: Wanting access to and control of your own health records via your smartphone? Professor Dr. Med. Christian Hall, cardiologist and innovator, is about to launch a personalized health app with which citizens can store and maintain their own health and medical records. Dr Hall is known for having invented the patented heart failure diagnostic method proBNP based on blood samples, a method which has become an important product for pharmaceutical giant Roche's global business.

Prof. Hall's new venture, Healthbooks AS, is inspired by the complex health record environment in Norway as well as many other countries in the world. The legal framework related to citizen's health records has become an obstacle, not least for the citizen/patient. Based on the citizen's right to obtain information about one-self, prof. Hall, in collaboration with Department of Informatics at University of Oslo, has led the design of a tool named «Healthbooks». With this tool the user can collect and cloud store one's own health records with the help of an smartphone app for later sharing with health personell. «We have a prototype ready,» says Christian Hall to Oslo Medtech Magazine. "Provided some extra funding, we intend to bring the Healthbooks app to state of the art standard before launch anytime soon."

COREMINE MEDICAL: Searching for scientifical information when developing new and better treatments? PubGene allready runs the service Coremine Medical, launched in 2011, targeting scientists, physicians, other health professionals and as well as patients worldwide. Through Coremine Medical, physicians, researchers, pharmacists and other medical professionals get access to a tool that simplifies research in the biomedical text sphere, and ultimately helps find better treatment. “With Coremine Medical, physicians can effectively help individualize and tailor treatment of a patient. The user can analyze each unique case against similar cases throughout the medical sphere, also with respect to genetical conditions,” says CEO of PubGene, Odd Arild Lehne. “Coremine revolutionizes the work of adjusting treatment of each individual patient with respect to genetics and choice of treatment,” says Lehne.


Visit us at

We make people and plans work together At LINK Medical, we provide medical device manufacturers with clinical evidence of efficacy and safety, as well as model development and analysis of health economic parameters. Link Medical has built up expertise within regulation and documentation of medical devices. Also, the experience from many projects enables us to offer our clients all the services needed to document their systems and their devices – on the right level and achieving the agreed targets. Let LINK Medical guide your product into Europe We are an international CRO based in Scandinavia with clients primarily from pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. Give us a call, if you need people and plans for a safe entry of medical devices into the European market. Call +47 22 58 90 00 – or visit us at



US Ambassador Barry B. White is impressed with the technology and top Professor Kari Kværner, winner of the competition “Power up in thetravelling Game of Life”. Photo: OMI quality research he has seen, throughout Norway.


PROUD AND HAPPY WINNER: Kari Kværner, director of Innovation and professor at Oslo University Hospital HF, won the first prize and NOK 250.000 in the health app competition “Power up in the Game of Life”, organized by Oslo Medtech and The Regional Research Fund – Oslo/Akershus. "I have worked so hard with this project in several years now, and I`m so happy!," says Kari Kværner. She received the prize and heartfelt congratulations from Bent Høie, member of Parliament for The Conservative Party, and Chairman of The Standing Committee on Health and Care Services. The Regional Research Fund – Oslo/Akershus has sponsored the health app competition with a total of NOK 1 million in prize money. All the prize winners, four in total, received NOK 250.000 each. Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, The Gathering, VRI and Innovation Norway are also partners in the health app competition. "All the buzz created by the competition has a very positive effect, in that it increases the supply of good ideas," says Kjell Øygarden, head of secretariat of The Regional Research Fund – Oslo/Akershus.

LIKE THE MONSTER HILL: The winner idea is an exercise concept called “GoodWill Rehabilitate” and is a personalized and interactive mental exercise application based on visualization and gaming, which will be developed in cooperation with Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital. It is based on new neurophysiological knowledge, cognitive theory and behavioral economic theory. To embark on rehabilitation is even more

demanding than to take on the “monster hill”, explains Kværner with a reference to a notorious cross country ski race. The project was a clear winner, according to the jury. "The concept will clearly be able to meet a great need in rehabilitation of patients whose motivation for self management is a key," states the jury.

VIRTUAL WHEEL CHAIR: The second place, and also the obvious number two according to the jury, went to Nils Arve Sandberg and Eivind Holt, both working in DIPS ASA, with the project “Let me”. “Let me” is a game aimed at helping patients with rehabilitation through various exercises and practical tasks, and through navigating a 3D virtual edition of a department at Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital. The third prize was shared by two projects; “Using a wheel chair in virtual environments” by Erlend Bleken and “SpermAlarm” by Ravn Studio AS. "I`m totally surprised," says Erlend Bleken, a research fellow at Bergen Academy of Art and Design. His project is intended for Sunnaas’ new exercise center and is a gamebased virtual rehabilitation tool for wheelchair users. Stine Wærn and Tinka Town, founders of the independent game development studio Ravn Studio AS in Drammen, Norway, shared third place with the project “SpermAlarm, which is a contraception app for youth.


Oslo medtech magazine no 2 2013  

Oslo Medtech is a cluster of companies and institutions in the health care sector both in Norway and internationally.

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