Coronavirus Spurring Innovation in Healthcare | WELL
The Coronavirus is
spurring demand for medical innovation to combat such viral outbreaks.
Innovation in healthcare now ranks amongst the most dynamic,
fast-growing sectors. AI, Robotics and Cloud/5G are speeding up medical
advances – leading to dramatically lower costs in such areas as genome
sequencing, tele-medicine and wearables.
The latest outbreak will only lead to more demand for online/virtual
medical services – as individuals seek to limit their interactions in hospital
An Innovative Healthcare
revolution is upon us - increasing the availability of diagnostic services and
decreasing the cost of medical services. Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data can increasingly diagnose
and identify diseases better than the average medical professional. This is particularly true in cases where
staff have little experience in rarely seen diseases.
Google is already investing heavily in this area, purchasing anonymous
patient/hospital records and wearable technology company, Fitbit for over $2bn .
The Internet of Things (IoT)
and 5G is boosting remote controlled telemedicine, robotic surgery and allows
emergency services to have immediate access to information on patients.
increasing integration of robotics and medicine will help limit infections
across hospitals and quarantine areas. Robots are now capable of helping to change IV
bags, take patient samples, handle biohazardous waste and decontaminate rooms
and ambulances. The current outbreak
will lead to far greater scalability of these features.
of the future could all have cleaning robots.
The COVID-19 outbreak increases the demand for robots to interact with
patients – limiting the number of health-care workers infected.
can be used to take vital signs, provide comfort care, perform minor procedures
and perform some delivery and cleaning tasks.
Robots can also offer safer specimen processing and diagnostic
procedures - with zero risk of infections or error.
Hospital in California now has IV bags wirelessly connected to a cloud network,
that can be remotely programmed. This IV
bag allows for remote and accurate monitoring.
Ultimately, robots could change the IV bags. Sensors are also being used in Stanford to
prompt hospital staff to ambulate patients. UV sanitizing robots are now increasingly
used in highly contagious areas, where virulent organisms are present.
Telehealth services, personal
health monitoring, remote surgery and medical wearables are increasingly being
adopted to prevent diseases. The number
of IoT connections worldwide is projected to increase to 75.44 billion
worldwide, a fivefold increase in ten years .
5G's reliability, low latency, strong security and global availability will enable
fast adoption of AI diagnostics, remote surgeries and medical wearables too.
Outbreaks like the Coronavirus will drive adoption of wearables and smart AI
The Wuhan virus’
genome was fully sequenced in less than a month since the first case was detected.
This is crucial for the development of diagnostics and vaccines. Technological
progress means the delays of first cultivating a sufficient amount of viruses
is no longer required. Only tiny amounts
of viral DNA are now required - detected directly from a patient’s spit or
blood sample. The Genome market is set to grow dramatically, leading to a
wave of more personalised medicine and gene therapy.
Source: * https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/genomics-market-613.html
Ultimately it will provide far
more effective and customised healthcare treatments based on a person’s specific
genes and the diseases they are more prone to contract. Genomics' size is
expected to double from almost $19bn (2019) to $36bn by 2024.
The cost of gene sequencing is falling as computing power increases and data storage costs fall.
Google recently spent over $2bn  buying
loss-making Fitbit to get into medical wearables in a big way. Google is also
buying diagnostic hospital data for its machine learning ventures in
healthcare. With the US suffering from a
diabetes epidemic - these devices can play a key role monitoring blood sugar
levels 24/7, ensuring patients are kept aware of any worrying symptoms.
Mobile devices are already
being used as part of medical AI diagnosis and treatment around the world.
5G advances means screening for
Coronavirus-type symptoms will be easier in future and quarantined patients
could be better monitored with the help of robots.
Telemedicine allows doctors to communicate with the patients in
isolation. A telemedical robot can
already listen to the heart and lungs of patients. The hospital room of the future will be
increasingly virtual, allowing loved ones and doctors who don’t want to be
exposed to still interact with the patient.
It is possible to convert entire intensive care units to telemedicine
Virtual visits are already growing in the US. Providence a large US hospital network –
predicts this will represent 10% of all doctor visits within 3-4 years. A number
of routine infectious diseases, plus hypertension, diabetes and stroke
diagnosis are well suited for telemedicine to replace in-person consultations.
Increasingly, cloud technology will be able to host virtual medical
consulting services - instead of paying a doctor to be available 24/7. Private cloud networks across US hospitals
are growing fast.
Medical Equipment ETF
The HAN-GINS Healthcare Innovation ETF (WELL) provide
investors with access to a basket of over 100 companies at from exciting areas
of innovative healthcare that include medical devices, robotics, genome
sequencing as well as healthcare trackers/wearables and neuroscience.
WELL tracks the Indxx Advanced Life Science
and Smart Healthcare Thematic Index, an index designed to measure the
performance of large, mid and small market capitalization companies primarily
listed on an exchange in developed and
emerging markets that are involved in the advanced life sciences and smart
When you trade ETCs, your capital is at
Article Date: 9th March 2020.