Robots Could Soon Be Drawing Your Blood

Disruptive technology has been impactful irrespective of which sector one chooses to focus on, and the impact of technology, such as robotics, is just barely scratching the surface. This gives ETF investors the opportunity to jump in on disruptive-focused funds that delve into technology that is transformative for the medical industry, such as robots drawing blood.

“Getting your blood drawn is something that is pretty routine in healthcare settings,” wrote Robert Glatter, MD, in Forbes. “While routine, it still requires dexterity, a gentle touch and a keen eye to find a suitable vein. Venipuncture, which involves inserting a needle into a vein to obtain a blood sample or insert an intravenous catheter, is the most common clinical procedure in the world, accounting for more than 1.4 billion procedures annually in the U.S. alone. But data indicates that healthcare providers are unsuccessful in 27% of patients without visible veins, 40% of persons without palpable veins, and 60% of emaciated patients.”

“Yet, with advanced robots such as STAR (Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot) now able to autonomously perform complex surgery (such as suturing 2 pieces of intestine together after a segment of it is removed) with minimal human assistance, can they also perform basic procedures such as drawing blood? Now, researchers led by a team from Rutgers, report on the first human clinical trial that evaluated the ability of an automated robot, equipped with an ultrasound probe, to find a vein and draw blood. Judging by the results, it appeared to be quite successful,” Glatter added.

To take advantage of this transformative movement, investors can look at the ARK Innovation Fund (NYSEArca: ARKK). ARKK’s focus is primarily on domestic and foreign equity securities of companies that coincide with the ETF’s investment theme of disruptive innovation–a technology or strategy that disrupts the status quo and develops its own niche market.

ARKK invests in both developed and emerging markets with the intent to use American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)–securities offered in the U.S., but are offered as a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation.

Fund facts:

  • Exposure to Innovation: Aims for thematic multi-cap exposure to innovation across sectors.ARK believes the securities held in ARKK present the best risk-reward opportunities from ARK’sinnovation-based themes.
  • Growth Potential: Aims to capture long-term alpha+ with low correlation of relative returns totraditional growth strategies and negative correlation to value strategies.
  • Diversification: Offers a tool for diversification due to little overlap with traditional indices.It can be a complement to traditional value/growth strategies.
  • Research: Combines top-down and bottom-up research in its portfolio management to identify innovative companies and convergence across markets.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Provides a lower cost alternative to mutual funds with true active management in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that invests in rapidly moving themes.

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