The UK has complex health systems with a large private sector operating alongside comprehensive public provision, and significant issues around staff shortages and an ageing population. Increasing need and rising costs can force providers and entrepreneurs to consider innovative solutions such as e-health; but technology may enable the shift from acute services toward prevention.
Contract research organisations (CROs) can use deal-making to add innovative services, or build a presence in new therapeutic areas, rare diseases, or new geographic territories.
Commercial services in pharma, healthcare, and life sciences include a fast-growing marketing sector using sophisticated tools to communicate complex information and messages to professionals and patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic proved the ability of pharmaceuticals companies to operate at scale and with agility, under intense public scrutiny.
Information and digital technologies have transformed other sectors but change in healthcare and life sciences has been comparatively slow and piecemeal.
The possibilities for health technologies to improve performance and patient experiences, prevent and predict diseases, and manage treatment are enormous, and include measuring quality and efficiency, using AI to support clinical decisions, and virtual education and training.
‘Healthcare interoperability’ is a key concept that relies on connectively and secure communication between different IT systems while maintaining data security and privacy.
Digital technology has the potential to improve data quality and information sharing, with a robust infrastructure that supports accessible electronic records as well as services such as imaging and diagnostics.
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The healthcare sector and life sciences industry are attractive to investors because of their fragmented nature and the opportunities to achieve efficiency and synergy through collaboration and digitisation.
In the future, individual practices may give way to an increase in scale and chain formation, and a personalised healthcare system focussed on maintaining good health and controlling chronic conditions rather than managing acute disease. Patients will have greater ownership of their own health, while actively preventative healthcare reduces demand and facilitates cost-effective services and optimal financial management.
Pharma, healthcare, and life sciences companies are also of interest to private equity investors because the sector is not especially sensitive to the economic climate.
The search for efficiency in healthcare, pharma, and life sciences offers investors plenty of possibilities, but the risk of changing regulations and legislation must always be in the background.
In addition to in-person healthcare services, investors are attracted to the concept of accessible online services.
Developments in cost savings, digitisation, and efficiency continue to lead to acquisitions, with the scope for chain formation and an increase in scale contributing to the trend.
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