How Denmark’s life science sector is making a healthier world for everyone
Just like Japan, Denmark has a rapidly ageing population, a declining birth rate and an excellent healthcare system for all. With challenges ahead, Denmark’s trademark design thinking and innovative mindset is finding new ways to create better futures for all of us.
With world class research environments, visionary universities, effective infrastructure and data collection systems, along with a skilled talent pool, and a collaborative business environment, Denmark has become a global player in life sciences and the international pharma, biotech, MedTech and eHealth industries.
Global health development
Denmark is no stranger to world-leading discoveries within the pharma, biotech, MedTech and eHealth fields. Novo Nordisk is just one of the country’s global healthcare companies and invented the first ever insulin pen. It now has almost a 50% market share by volume within diabetes care, along with sales offices across Japan. Coloplast is another innovative healthcare company, whose design solutions led to the world’s first disposable ostomy pouch. And Lundbeck leads the way within the development and commercialization of central nervous system (CNS) drugs worldwide, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antiepileptic products.
Machine learning & technology
Several Danish companies are changing the way that we look at healthcare using technology in novel ways. Corti has developed an AI and machine learning system that helps on emergency phone calls. The software analyses background noise including breathing sounds to offer smart in-call diagnostic assistance with extremely high success rates. Meanwhile the country’s community focus has resulted in two high performing apps that harness community knowledge to improve healthcare. Be My Eyes is an app developed to help the visually impaired, allowing them to ask volunteers to see for them via an app, and Trygfonden heart runner harnesses local volunteers to help people having a heart attack before an ambulance arrives.
Denmark is also home to a large number of world leading MedTech companies that help improve individual people’s lives. Anybody Technology is a leading developer of musculoskeletal software simulation solutions, and Danish manufacturer Moto Tiles manufacture robot tiles to help the elderly with their balance and endurance. Moto Tiles won the SilverEco and Ageing Well International Awards at the Global Business Hub held in Tokyo in 2019.
What is behind Denmark’s life science success? Knowledge-sharing and a close collaboration between public and private partners across science, education and regulatory affairs are two of the key drivers. Denmark hosts more trials per capita than any other country in the world: it is easy to recruit suitable study participants, and a single point of entry makes the identification and contact with leading clinical centres at hospitals nationwide easy. The Copenhagen Healthtech Cluster initiative Data Saves Lives is another example of a successful partnership that brings together health actors across both public and private sectors, sharing essential knowledge for the good of everyone, while maintaining a high level of data security.
Towards better hearing
Denmark is the centre of Europe’s audiology industry and supplies half the world’s hearing aids. It is a centre for innovation in hearing: Widex and GN Hearing, two of the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing instruments, create tailormade state-of-the-art hearing instruments and related sound experience products to help improve people’s quality of life.
Community health engagements
We can’t talk about Denmark without mentioning its people’s love of fitness: running, swimming and cycling are in the blood. Two particular initiatives are helping Danes get fit, stay fit and enjoy being active. The Royal Run was originally conceived as a one-off running event to celebrate Crown Prince Frederik’s 50th birthday, but has now become an annual tradition where the people of Denmark run a mile, 5km or more with the royal family during a one-day event. It’s been incredibly popular. And Cycling without Age has brought the joy of two wheels to the physically impaired and elderly. Initially an idea the company’s founder developed to take a few care home residents out into the fresh air in a trishaw (a three-wheeled cycle-powered rickshaw), it has developed into a movement across 40 countries giving everyone the chance to feel the wind in their hair, whether they can cycle or not.
Discover how we are navigating towards a Healthier Future for All at The Denmark Pavilion.
The Denmark Pavilion is open to the public 23 July - 8 August and 24 August - 5 September 2021 11am-10pm. Admission is free.
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ABOUT THE DENMARK PAVILION
The Denmark Pavilion in Hibiya Park is open for 30 days during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, and aims to strengthen awareness of Denmark with the Japanese and international audience. Inside, the exhibition centres on quality of life and explores innovative Danish solutions within design, healthcare, food, smart city development and sustainability. The pavilion is created from 2,500 recycled plastic chairs, which will be repurposed after the event, and was designed by Danish architects Lendager Group, with the interior and exhibition by BRIQ. The initiative has been developed by the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs and VisitDenmark in collaboration with Realdania and The Danish Industry Foundation.