From personalized apps to specialized devices and pioneering nanotechnologies, keeping people healthy is a core focus of the Central Coast economy.
A thriving cluster of med-tech companies are forging the future of healthcare through development and production of biometric markers, enzymes, surgical biomaterials and cutting-edge medical devices.
Healthcare delivery, meanwhile, is a bedrock of the local economy, encompassing several of the region’s largest employers and thousands of healthcare professionals working to keep the population fit and healthy.
- Promega, a global biotech leader with an R&D lab in SLO County, emerged as a core supplier in the fight against COVID-19, scaling significantly to advance diagnostic testing and treatment.
- Former Santa Barbara and state public health officer Dr. Charity Dean launched The Public Health Company in response to the COVID pandemic with $8 million in seed funding to help organizations mitigate disruptions through AI-powered outbreak intelligence.
- Cal Poly partnered with Santa Maria-based medical device manufacturer Hardy Diagnostics to bring to market saliva-based COVID-19 testing technology developed by faculty members.
- Telehealth app company Evidation Health, founded in Santa Barbara with a second office in Silicon Valley, is now valued at over $1 billion, following its latest $153 million funding round.
- Alydia Health, which developed a device to treat postpartum hemorrhaging while part of the SLO Hothouse incubator, was acquired by a Merck spinoff for $240 million.
- Santa Barbara-based health care payment startup AxiaMed was acquired by Bank of America in 2021 for an undisclosed sum.
1 in 10
of all regional jobs are in healthcare
regional biotech + biomedical device companies
regional biotech + biomed jobs
“There’s such great talent here. It’s why I moved to Santa Barbara in the first place.”
“Within close proximity to many agricultural and industrial centers in California, we have access to a variety of raw materials and resources while providing rapid shipment to our customers around the world.”
ASSETS + RESOURCES
Cal Poly’s biomedical engineering major, developed in consultation with industry leaders, gives students hands-on experience growing tissue-engineered blood vessels, designing prosthetics for wounded veterans and experimenting with emerging imaging technology.
Allan Hancock College
Allan Hancock offers Health Sciences studies in nursing, medical assisting and dental assisting, as well as related programs in kinesiology, sports medicine and nutrition.
Cuesta offers a robust Nursing + Allied Health program, training nurses, EMTs, paramedics and phlebotomists. Its psychiatric tech program is ranked #1 by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.
Santa Barbara City College
The healthcare and wellness programs at SBCC include biomedical sciences, nursing, EMT, health information technology, healthcare data analytics, medical coding and more.
Health + Life Science businesses
Explore the map below to discover the breadth of health + life science operations in the region.