The Future of Healthcare Presents a Trillion Dollar Opportunity for Investors
In the midst of a global health crisis, investors have recognized the potential of rethinking and revolutionizing the healthcare system. A new crop of biotech and healthtech startups are leading the way and attracting fresh investments in 2020.
Perhaps one of the more notable trends in this sector is the rise of telehealth. The ability to interface with a medical professional remotely has been possible for years with the rise of connected devices and high-speed broadband. However, this technology went from being a possibility to a necessity when everyone was confined to their homes this year.
Research from Forrester Research suggests the expected number of telehealth visits in 2020 increased from 36 million before the crisis to nearly 1 billion now. Stocks such as Canada’s WELL Health Technology have surged 330% year-to-date alongside this growth in adoption. Billionaire investor Li Ka Shing owns a substantial stake in the company and invested another $25 million this month.
Meanwhile, American rivals Teladoc and Livongo announced a merger worth $18.5 billion this month. The merger creates the world’s largest telehealth company.
While these innovations improve access to healthcare remotely, other initiatives are solving the physical bottlenecks to medicine and medical attention. Kaiser Permanente operates mobile clinics on wheels in several cities across the U.S., while Canada’s Telus has a similar program.
On the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England, the British government is experimenting with commercial drones to deliver medical supplies to remote communities, while a similar program known as The UNICEF Humanitarian Drone Corridor has been implemented in Malawi. California-based UAV delivery startup Zipline launched distribution of personal protective gear and medical equipment in North Carolina this year.
For investors, the rise of healthcare technology presents a lucrative opportunity to invest in early-stage healthtech startups. The global market for healthcare technology could be worth $504 billion by 2025, according to Global Market Insights, Inc. Publicly-listed stocks such as Teladoc and WELL Health as well private startups such as Doctolib could be the top beneficiaries of this long-term trend.