Upheaving health care
As incomes grow and lifestyles change in the developing world, populations in mature economies are ageing and health-care services are being pressured by severe budgetary constraints. At the same time, an increase in out-of-pocket health-care spending is fuelling the growing consumerisation of health care. As a result, the health-care sector must adapt to meet the changing needs of the world, which presents opportunities and pitfalls for investors.
What matters most?
To help focus our analysis of health-care trends, we focus on the growing wellness industry, renewed efforts in preventative health care, the demands of ageing populations, the increasing accessibility of health-care services and a growing focus on personalisation in the medical sector, though we remain conscious of other forces in health care too.
The increasing adoption of Western-style diets globally and a recognition of the role of diet in disease also point to potential changes in patterns of chronic disease, food consumption and government policies.
Our key areas of focus
Healthier choices drive a greater consumerisation of health care. Wellbeing and over-the-counter brands benefit from the repositioning of patients as consumers, while the app economy is likely to expand both awareness and greater consumer choice.
Prevention entails earlier detection and intervention, reducing disease burden, and delivers better health-care outcomes for patients and payers. Active monitoring of chronic conditions leads to improved management and lowers overall treatment costs.
In an ageing society, the greater health demands of the older population reflect the chronic diseases of the elderly. Long-term care moves into the home environment. There are opportunities to extend and improve quality of life. Better health also drives demand for leisure and travel.
Increasing demand and greater access to better value solutions expands the use of health care around the world. The adoption of Western-style diets changes health-care requirements in many emerging markets, while electronic health (eHealth) opportunities democratise access, and improve the speed of treatment.
Health care becomes very personal as patient data unlocks value. Genomic health and DNA sequencing transform treatment options and increases awareness. Targeted therapies improve outcomes, particularly in cancer. The personalisation of health data also increases demand for security and regulation.
Of course, our themes don’t exist in a vacuum
The investment implications of ageing populations bridge our healthy demand and population dynamics themes perfectly. How else will demographic shifts affect the investment landscape?
Technology is changing the face of every industry on the planet, including health care. Our smart revolution theme considers the impact of the technological revolution in more detail.
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These opinions should not be construed as investment or other advice and are subject to change. This material is for information purposes only. Any reference to a specific security, country or sector should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell investments in those countries or sectors. Please note that holdings and positioning are subject to change without notice.