The healthcare and life sciences sector is being reshaped by technology in so many ways. Wearables, apps, software and artificial intelligence offer big solutions for pharma, medtech and healthcare service providers in relation to the remote monitoring of users and patients. It has also led to new players in telemedicine, online pharmacies and other forms of digital delivery of healthcare. Technology will be a driver for future M&A activity amid challenging global economic headwinds, and both healthcare and technology companies are seeking their slice of the pie in a global industry worth USD 7.2 trillion a year (source: World Health Organization, 2015).
Some of the key trends that we are expecting to grow include:
- M&A activity in healthcare is expected to reach USD 400 billion this year, as more legacy healthcare companies will be looking to acquire healthtech start-ups.
- Diversified players with various incentives in the healthcare, life sciences, technology, private equity and venture capital space.
- Digital health services, such as telemedicine, will see more user adoption as healthcare costs rise.
- New frontiers such as precision medicine, biomarkers, omics, gene and cell therapies will thrive .
- As more healthtech applications enter the market, consumer trust will need to be rebuilt to counter environmental risks associated with digital health, e.g., data breaches.
Amid the realities of rising healthcare costs, healthtech might pave the way to not only lower costs for patients, but to increase accessibility to affordable healthcare services. What will be very important for the healthtech sector going forward would be to find the right balance to manage patient data, while building consumer trust and checking all the compliance boxes with the respective regulatory bodies.