The Hottest Post-Pandemic Sector Will Be…
I likened telemedicine to the birth of a new star last week, triggered by President Trump’s emergency declaration in response to COVID-19.
Three days after Trump’s declaration, Medicare expanded to include telehealth benefits, prompting providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield to waive all co-pays and other patient costs.
Before the pandemic, telemedicine accounted for roughly 1.5% of all routine doctor’s appointments and visits.
Today, however, telemedicine has likely vaulted above 50% of doctors’ visits.
Such a reality places telemedicine in rarified air…
It’s perhaps the fastest mass adoption of a breakthrough technology in history.
Yet the story doesn’t end there.
If telemedicine is a nascent star — burning hot and bright — then “HealthTech” is the constellation in which it resides.
You’ve heard of fintech, right? The radical transformation of the financial services industry through technology.
Well, HealthTech seeks the same thing — to reboot America’s health care system through innovative breakthroughs like telemedicine.
Specifically, in addition to telemedicine, HealthTech includes remote surgery, ingestible smart pills, remote monitoring for the elderly, wearable health trackers, AI-powered drug discoveries, bioprinting, medical robotics, implantable nanomedicine, machine vision, VR health treatments… and beyond.
On the strength of America’s evolving 5G network, HealthTech — which relies on ultra-fast processing speeds and internet connections — was already set to be a market-leading powerhouse in 2020.
But in the wake of COVID-19, HealthTech is now an imperative.
Welcome to the “New Normal” for Health Care…
The medical robotics niche of HealthTech alone is worth an estimated $20 billion, and it’s already beginning to perform critical functions like disinfecting rooms.
These “bot” janitors use powerful short-wavelength ultraviolet-C lights that fully annihilate living microorganisms — a true game-changer during a crisis.
Bot janitors in every hospital will quickly become the new normal.
Other medical bots help transport supplies around hospitals.
Robotic exoskeletons are increasingly available as well to support the elderly and disabled.
Another hot niche is AI-assisted health care.
Pre-pandemic, this niche was worth an estimated $36 billion, but reports indicate its value has doubled over the last 30 days.
Reason being, AI was recently called upon to identify the best drugs to help COVID-19 patients.
Among over 8,000 existing drug compounds cleared by the FDA for safe usage, an algorithm identified the 77 “best matches” in only two days.
It would’ve taken a human months to complete the same task.
AI-assisted health care is the new normal.
The story of HealthTech’s explosion literally writes itself…
Machine vision can spot COVID-19 in chest X-rays.
Using neural networks adept at spotting patterns, machine vision “sees” infinitely better than humans, thus helping to reduce misdiagnoses.
In one recent example, according to MIT Technology Review, the machine’s “vision” was trained “using 5,941 images taken from 2,839 patients with various lung conditions, including bacterial infections, non-COVID viral infections and COVID-19.”
Machine vision is destined to be our new normal.
Bottom line, the economic impact of COVID-19 is extremely hard to quantify.
Stimulus checks and the Fed’s intervention will help.
Yet in any post-COVID-19 scenario, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be deep lingering effects on sectors like manufacturing, airlines, entertainment and hospitality.
On the flip side, the sudden rise of telemedicine sends a loud and clear message to the world…
The 2020s will be marked by technology’s increasingly important role on our personal wellness, and HealthTech is a surefire way to profit.
I hope your portfolio reflects this new reality.
Onward and upward,