Note: This article is courtesy of Iris.xyz
By Efram Slen, Manager, Nasdaq Global Information Services
It’s a fact: we’re living longer. According to the National Institute on Aging, “the 85-and-over population is projected to increase 351% between 2010 and 2050.” That’s not a typo! And while there are certainly numerous factors that have led to the change, advancements in healthcare have been key.
Largely fueled by biotech—a merging of medicine and technology—the rate of change and innovation in healthcare is nothing short of stunning. As the industry strives to meet the mounting healthcare needs of older Baby Boomers, innovation is only expected to accelerate.
The products that are in development today are fascinating.
Surgical knives are transforming cancer treatment by laser-focusing high dose radiation to treat otherwise inoperable tumors—with no invasive surgery, no anesthesia, and no post-treatment downtime. RNA chemistries are being used to treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Smartphone apps are in the works that alert caregivers in the case of unusual physical activity or locations that may indicate a crisis. Another app helps emergency medical personnel more easily diagnose concussions on the spot for school-age athletes. The innovations seem endless, as do the opportunities for growth.
For investors, industry innovation often provides opportunity. When it comes to today’s healthcare innovators, they offer a few additional advantages.
- As a whole, healthcare innovators (especially biotech firms) are largely uncorrelated to the market.
- As science evolves at lightning speed, so do their products. This dynamic accelerates the development lifecycle to quickly generate new revenue streams.
- Healthcare innovators are bolstered by an aging population that is willing to pay a high price to stay healthy and happy as long as possible.