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Why Yorkshire and the Humber is the digital health hub of the UK

Posted: 16th March 2021

Digital health is one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK, however, Yorkshire & Humber is paving the way for innovation and is fast becoming the central hub of activity. The Digital Health and Wellbeing Charter for the region has outlined why the region is at the forefront of the industry. 

The region has one of the fastest-growing innovative digital technology sectors in the UK, employing 102,000 people and generating £6.6bn for the region’s economy. It also has the largest concentration of digital health and MedTech companies in the UK – the lastest figures revealed there are 160 MedTech companies in Leeds alone. 

The health and social care sector overall employs 140,000 people in West Yorkshire – more than any other sector. In addition, 22,500 people are employed in health and life sciences related roles, such as the manufacture of medical instruments which employs 2,000 people, a concentration of employment 50% higher than the national average. 

According to recent research by the LEP, output in the health sector is forecast to increase by £1.1bn (34.5%) between 2018 and 2028, double the growth rate for the West Yorkshire economy as a whole (16.5%). Other complementary sectors are also forecast to see strong growth including pharmaceuticals, forecast to increase by 38.5% locally compared to 14.6% for the UK.

Academically, Yorkshire & Humber has a strong base of research and innovation capability with ten universities focussed on science, technology and healthcare including the University of Leeds, University of Sheffield and York St. John University. The combination of academia and startups in close proximity makes it the perfect location for networking opportunities and collaborations. 

The region is also home to a series of innovation hubs and science parks, including our partners Nexus, based at the University of Leeds, C4DI in Hull and the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, whose purpose is to ‘connect, collaborate and co-create both HealthTech and MedTech solutions within their co-working spaces and cross-cut into other sectors such as Finance and the Environment’.