For years, the healthcare space has been driven by the aging population, not only in the United States, but also across the globe. In 2018, for the first time in history, people of 65 years and above outnumbered children under five across the globe.
As per the United Nations data from World Population Prospects: the 2019 Revision, “by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16%), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9%).” Additionally, by 2050, in the United States one in four persons could be aged 65 or above. Eventually, the number in the age group of 80s is projected to become thrice the present number. So, globally, the figure of 143 million in 2019 could turn to 426 million in 2050.
Now, this aging population will be in constant need of healthcare products and services over the next decade and beyond. This demographic trend not only benefits the healthcare space but also bring health technology to limelight.
What is Health Technology?
As clearly defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), health technology is the "application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives."
Hence, any technology that can help in monitoring the well-being of individuals falls in this category. From hearing aids to glucose monitoring systems to smart home technologythat help monitor elder’s health and call for help without delay, are part of health technology.
CES 2020: Health Technology to Grow Significantly
Many big companies at CES 2020 demonstrated health technology designed mostly for the benefit of elderly people.
Here, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in its 2019 Tech Trends and the 50+ discussion said that “115 million Americans over 50 represent an enormous market for technology.” And the association projects that nearly 132 million Americans for the 50-year age group will spend nearly $84 billion on technology products and services, giving the industry a major boost by the end of this decade.
As per Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Technologies, who attended the over 50 CES, remarked that technology will play a big role in health monitoring and self-treatment, hyping demand especially among elders and for eldercare.
Technology biggies like Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) have ventured in this arena by acquiring fitness tracking and health monitoring brand, FitBit. And The Procter & Gamble Company (PG - Free Report) showcased product innovation through its Gillette Treo, a razor that is designed for a caregiver to shave an elderly person. Guy Peri, vice president and chief data & analytics officer at P&G Information Technology, said that the division’s overall objective is to idealize “product innovation and the human insight.”
Many private and startup tech firms are also concentrating on this area. MedWand that emerged as a winner in the Last Gadget Standing, offers a handheld medical testing device with a camera that can perform 10 different tests, including heart rate, temperature, and electrocardiogram. The device is staged to benefit people in homes, hospices, and eldercare facilities, helping them to share data with doctors in real time.
Companies like OMRON Corporation (OMRNY - Free Report) , known to provide med-tech and monitoring devices are making money from its FDA-approved wearable blood pressure monitor that sells for $500. The French big name Withings showcased its ScanWatch at CES 2020, a wearable that can passively track heartbeat irregularities and sleep apnea.
3 Stocks to Make the Most of Heath Technology
Given the demographic projection, investing in health tech innovators can be profitable, especially when they offer safer, more-effective and less-costly ways to track and monitor health. We have shortlisted three stocks that are poised to grow and are making substantial development in the health technology space.
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) offers digital content, cloud services, hardware devices, and other miscellaneous products and services. It has ventured into health technologythrough investment in artificial intelligence and data. In November 2019, Google hired the former CEO for Geisinger Health, David Feinberg to lead the Google Health initiative, followed by a stake purchase in DeepMind Health that deals in AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors.
Further, the company is working on an electronic health record model that uses machine learning to forecast a host of patient outcomes, from length of a patient’s hospital stay to odds of readmission and the likelihood of death. Alphabet, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has an expected earnings growth rate of 6.6% for the current year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Apple designs, manufactures, and markets smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables and accessories. FitBit’s acquisition has helped Apple get an edge over the other technologyfirms already. Additionally, the company’s constant efforts are visible in its Apple Watch and iPhone products that are rapidly adding new capabilities for detecting health problems.
Apple’s wearables can now detect atrial fibrillation (via ECG), a life-threatening condition caused by an irregular heart rate. Apple is a Zacks Rank #2 company and has an expected earnings growth rate of 10.7% for the current year.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SSNLF - Free Report) , the world’s No. 1 smartphone maker has also ventured into health technology. Samsung’s digital health vice president Natalie Schneider, pointed that the elder generation is a profitably target as retiring baby boomers open up bigger prospects for health technologydevelopment.
Samsung’s Ballie rolling robot can detect a fall in a house and roll over to ask the person if it should call 911. In CES 2020, this Zacks Rank #2 company announced its collaborations with Kaiser Permanente and IrisVision. Kaiser Permanente home cardiac rehabilitation system employs a Samsung smartwatch and HeartWise smartphone app to monitor activities and provides exercise reminders. Samsung's smartphones and headsets along with IrisVision's low vision technology is designed to benefit patients with macular degeneration.
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