The State of Healthtech in the MENA region

The remarkable growth of the Middle East and North Africa region’s (MENA) healthcare sector over the previous decade, fueled by both public and private finance, has firmly established regional healthcare as a worldwide player. In 2020-2021, the Medical Tourism Index indicated that Dubai and Abu Dhabi were respectively ranked as the sixth and ninth-best global destinations for medical tourism.

The UAE already has an impressive track record with healthcare investment, having attracted the world-class Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and education programs by NYU Abu Dhabi.

Made in partnership with EMERGE GHI, our latest report provides an overview of the investment landscape of the healthcare industry in the MENA region, excluding Israel.

Report - The State of Healthtech in the MENA region

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The growing value of MENA’s healthtech

Healthtech in the MENA region is the vertical that has grown the most by combined enterprise value since 2016. The healthtech startup ecosystem in the MENA region is now worth over $1.5B, a 22x increase since 2016. Healthtech startups in the region are taking off, with more than $200M in VC funding received since 2016.

Domestic and international investment

More domestic and international VCs are focusing on the region, ready to deploy dry powder. VCs are the main contributors to funding for healthtech startups in the MENA region, with the region primarily dominated by domestic investors. Since 2016, 80% of VC funding has come from domestic investors.

However, founders have plenty of opportunities to attract funding, both from local and foreign investors. Domestic and foreign VCs have raised $0.9B in MENA-specific healthtech-dedicated VC funds since 2020.

High demand for telehealth

There is an increasing demand for telemedicine in the region, along with the adoption of remote monitoring solutions. Virtual care goes beyond telemedicine and is a game changer for prevention and proactive care.

Since 2020, telemedicine service providers in medical centers and hospitals in the UAE have started to offer a 360-degree solution using the help of a regulation-compliant health information system, supporting patients living in remotely built areas.

Beyond telehealth – other MENA segments

Telemedicine leads in terms of VC investment, value and startup creation in the MENA region, but other patient-focused segments are emerging too. Beyond telehealth, VC investment is also active in clinical decision support, practice management and remote monitoring. While most VC investment activity and value creation has predominantly been in the engagement layer: improving patient experience.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) governments

Countries in the GCC have made significant investments in healthcare and telemedicine, leading the way in the MENA region.

There are more opportunities for healthtech startups as GCC countries invest in upgrading healthcare. Between 2010 and 2020, the GCC region had the highest healthcare infrastructure investments. Most VC investment activity and value creation has predominantly been focused on startups improving the patient experience, such as digital care and remote monitoring.

Learn more about the MENA region’s expanding healthtech ecosystem by downloading our full report:

Report - The State of Healthtech in the MENA region

Get the complete report