eHealth innovation in Spain

Key figures




autonomous communities (CCAAs)

9.1% of the GDP

dedicated to the health sector in 2019

A decentralized health system around the CCAAs

The 17 CCAAs are competent to issue regional norms deciding on supplemental funding beyond what the national government provides, local public health policies, the organisation of the regional healthcare system, the system’s accreditation and planning, and the procurement and provision of services. The State and the regions coordinate in an inter-territorial council that brings together the Minister of Health and the health councillors of all the autonomous communities to decide together on common strategies and guidelines.

The Spanish public health system follows the model of a national health system, fully financed by taxes and with coverage of care for the population. Of the total health expenditure, 73.51% corresponds to public expenditure and 26.48% to private health expenditure.

The national government has increased the resources devoted to eHealth

  • In 2020, the Ministry of Health created a General Secretariat for Health, Information and Innovation
  • In December 2021, the State adopted a national digital health strategy. It envisages public-private cooperation to carry out initiatives of particular interest to the national system

At the same time, the CCAAs are also drivers of public policies and initiatives related to health innovation at the local level. The Autonomous Community of Barcelona is the most dynamic region in Spain for digital health .

How do you access the Spanish market?

1. The 8 medical technology assessment agencies, responsible for assessing new health technologies.

These assessments are pooled within the network of these agencies, called RedETS. These agencies are:

2. The governments of the 17 autonomous communities

CCAAs manage their own health budgets and issue requests for proposals for their care centres. They can base their decisions on the certifications of medical technology assessment agencies. The IT and/or innovation departments are their contact points.
In addition, CCAAs often have their own health innovation hubs. These hubs bring together local ecosystems and provide facilities for innovation initiatives.

3. Hospitals’ supply

Hospitals supply themselves with medical devices. They have a budget, in which public subsidies play a prominent part, which allows them to choose their own schemes. They provide a third gateway to the Spanish market when releasing a digital medical device or product. The private health system.
More than half of the hospitals in Spain are private. This system is supplied independently of the public system.

4. Spain-Up Nation

Spain developed a strategy for an entrepreneurial nation in order to generate a new social and economic model, through 3 interconnected levels : innovative entrepreneurship, spanish driving sectors and social gaps reduction. 

This program has been developed in partnership with the platforms ENISA, financing innovatives companies and its dedicated section for digital companies ; RED.ES for the promotion of a digital agenda in Spain, notably for health and social services ; and finally ICEX for the globalization of companies.

5. The General Secretariat for e-health, information and innovation of the national health system

The Secretaría General de Salud Digital, Información e Innovación del Sistema Nacional de Salud is responsible for dealing with projects for the modernisation, innovation, improvement and transformation of the national health system, especially those related to digital health and information systems. It coordinates, together with the Autonomous Communities, the execution and supervision of the digital health strategy for the NHS through the Digital Health Commission.

Hubs and innovation clusters

They bring together and facilitate the incubation of new technologies