Booster for better business

One may not immediately associate Finland as a healthtech powerhouse – but the wellbeing-minded Finns have, indeed, built a rather convincing case. From advanced medical devices doing, say, measuring and imaging to IVD diagnostics and laboratory equipment used in therapy and rehabilitation, Finnish Healthtech is clearly on roll. (And don’t even get me going about the startup scene.) 

Industry skills deep dive suggests that Finnish healthtech is just getting started.

The newest TechSkillsAtlas™ 2023 study finds that the Finnish fortresses in healthtech include biochemistry, bioinformatics, genetics, microbiology, medtech, molecular biology, histology and immunology. “Pretty strong expert niches exist in diagnostics, digital & tele health, neuroscience and personalized medicine,” adds Michel Lemagnen, CEO of MCJ Lemagnen Associates, the maker of the report.

Sleeper hit?

In addition to Healthtech, the report gives a rather comprehensive look on two other Finnish high-performing skills areas: ICT and Engineering. With a core resource of 99,000 professionals hard at work today, Healthtech is as much part of the national business landscape as the perhaps better-known tech sectors.   

“Healthtech technical professionals are the scarcest of the three skills bases, but 9% of the workforce in Finland nevertheless has technical healthtech skills,” Lemagnen points out.

Health pros at large

And here’s the big secret: actually, the total resource of Healthtech is as high as 233,000 in Finland – but about 120,000 of that number is not currently employed in the sector.

Lemagnen talks about the phenomenon of “lapsed resource”, meaning Healthtech professionals who have sought employment elsewhere for one reason or another. “According to the study, the lapsed resource is still very much employed – only about 5% of the lapsed resource is unemployed right now.

Diversify the field

That leaves us with the 120,000 that could – possibly – talked into making a comeback at some point. As the entire Health & Wellbeing industry keeps branching out to new, exciting directions, this will likely open doors for many people that are ready to for Round 2.

“Looking at areas such as biopharma, medtech and healthcare bioinformatics and also gene therapy, personalized medicine and digital health, it is clear to see they are key growth priorities in Finland. There are many new employment opportunities,” says Lemagnen, adding that healthtech professionals have good technical know-how of other fields, too.

“There is strong overlap with engineering, for example, and digital health obviously is underpinned by IT tech.”

Healthtech hot spots all around

Geographically speaking, the talent is spread out pretty adequately. “40% of the healthtech talent pool live in Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, but Kuopio, Turku, Tampere and the Northern city of Oulu have significant talent pools, as well.”

Lemagnen observes that the sector has its share of both newcomers and veterans: about one third (32%) of the healthtech professionals have worked in a technical healthtech role for less than two years, while another one third (34%) have more than five years under their belt.

“Education-wise, 57% of the talent resource have at least a Master’s Degree, of which 11% beyond that.”

New blood

There is plenty of fresh talent in pipeline as well, since about 26,300 new health and wellbeing tertiary and vocational education graduates hit the job market each year. “Recruiting and retaining this new talent is key for the entire industry moving forward.”

Since healthcare professions tend to feature long, specialized training, healthtech professionals are not easily replaced, either.

Core resource of healthtech professionals in Finland

TechSkillsAtlas™ Finland 2023

  • TechSkillsAtlas™ is a technical skills measurement method by MCJ Lemagnen Associates
  • methodology was originally designed, tested and developed by CEO Michel Lemagnen in 2006
  • MCJ Lemagnen Associates is UK headquartered, independent consulting and research firm, specialising in the fields of foreign direct investment and trade, economic development and research
  • The TechSkillsAtlas™ fieldwork in Finland was carried out by MCJ Lemagnen Associates’ Finnish and global fieldwork partner Kantar Oy, part of the world’s largest insights company
  • TechSkillsAtlas™ covers highly specialist technical skills, focusing on what people do now in their work and what they did in the past
  • offers robust statistical information based on a quantitative, nationally and regionally representative web-based survey
  • 4,400 interviews conducted across mainland Finland; age range 18-64
  • includes employed, self-employed and unemployed persons
  • TechSkillsAtlas™ Finland 2023 was co-funded by Business Finland and Helsinki Partners 

For more information

Kaija Laitinen
Senior Advisor, Market Intelligence Kaija Laitinen