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PRA Health's New Program to Lend Support to Healthcare System

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PRA Health Sciences, Inc. (PRAH - Free Report) recently launched the COVID-19 Monitoring Program, which will allow individuals to connect with a healthcare professional without leaving home and thus, maintaining social distancing. The introduction of this innovative monitoring program is likely to give a boost to PRA Health’s Data Solutions segment that offers data, analytics, technology, and consulting solutions to the life sciences market.

Notably, the COVID-19 Monitoring Program is a mobile-app driven, tiered initiative that will enable employers, payers, providers and health systems to track health and wellbeing of individuals who might have been exposed, asymptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19.

Benefits of the Monitoring Program

The program’s app can be downloaded on personal mobile devices by participants. Through the app, they will be able to report key health metrics like body temperature, heart rate and pulse oximetry associated with COVID-19. It will also help participants report symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue and changes in coughing.

The program will allow the participants to interact with PRA Health’s nurse-led clinical call center staff who will monitor the information reported through the mobile-app on a daily basis.

Given the aggravation in the coronavirus-induced crisis, the healthcare system and its infrastructure has come under significant pressure. This innovative mobile-app can be a crucial tool during this crisis as it will provide the ability to interact with individuals remotely thereby maintaining the infrastructure and capability of the healthcare system without compromising patient’s safety and business continuity.

It is important to note here that PRA Health is deploying the COVID-19 Monitoring Program and mobile app to healthcare organizations, large employers and is in talks with academic institutions, governmental organizations, health departments and other private businesses to roll out the program.

Coronavirus Outbreak and Its Impact

The coronavirus disease, which was first detected in central China in December, has turned into a full-blown pandemic, and its panoptic impact has left most of the world rattled and shocked. According to a CNBC report, analysts from the Economic Intelligence Unit (“EIU”) assumed that the virus will infect about 50% of the world population, with 20% cases being severe and 1-3% resulting in deaths.

Consequently, EIU projected global growth to stand at 1% in 2020 (down from the expectation of 2.3% before the coronavirus outbreak). Analysts also added that it would mark the lowest rate in global gross domestic product (GDP) growth since the global financial crisisin 2008.

Amid this crisis, some key players have made significant progress with regards to maintaining capability of healthcare system and its infrastructure. For example, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX - Free Report) , also known as BD, together with CerTestBiotec, recently announced the receipt of CE mark for the VIASURE SARS-CoV-2 real time test adapted for the BD MAX System. Thus, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, utilized for detecting COVID-19, is now available to clinical laboratories.

Market Prospects

Per a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global healthcare information technology (HCIT) market is estimated to reach $392 billion by 2024, driven by significant development with the introduction of healthcare reforms in developed and developing nations.

Given the global condition of the market amid the coronavirus outbreak, PRA Health’s announcement of the availability of this program is a well-timed one.

Price Performance

The Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock has lost 36.4% in a year’s time, compared with the industry’s decline of 36.7%.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space include Accuray Incorporated (ARAY - Free Report) and The Cooper Companies, Inc. (COO - Free Report) , both currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Accuray has an expected earnings growth rate of 200% for third-quarter fiscal 2020.

Cooper Companies has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 10.8%.

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