The role of technology in healthcare is advancing rapidly. Where are the opportunities for global healthcare investors to support impactful innovations in this space? In September 2023, QIA's Head of Healthcare, Dr. Mohamed Ghanem, had an opportunity to join a high-level panel at the Institute for Sovereign Wealth Funds 15th Annual Meeting in Madrid and share some reflections on these crucial questions.
Technological advancements are important in healthcare, but change needs to take time.
Due to the significant testing needed before a drug or any new modality comes to market, healthcare will never mirror the speed in which new products reach users like they do in other sectors.
The majority of global healthcare spending goes towards the salaries and hands-on training of doctors, nurses, and practitioners - areas that is very difficult to automate.
However, there are some areas where technological advances can make a significant difference. Firstly, to address operational efficiencies – data integration providers constitute one of the areas that can benefit the most from automation and AI.
Secondly, to combat issues related to healthcare professionals’ availability and drug development productivity, there are multiple innovations that can potentially improve productivity and reduce bottle necks.
Within global healthcare, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Investing in the healthcare sector mirrors QIA’s overarching strategy as a long-term global investor with a robust asset-allocation strategy.
However, healthcare is a sector that is very market-specific and highly regulated. When we invest, we must consider local needs, regional demographics, political priorities, and implications. Within global healthcare, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
At QIA, we believe healthcare investments should aim to solve big problems for societies – and the businesses that are doing this are the ones that should thrive and survive.
To address unmet global medical needs, you need long-term investors.
Healthcare as investment sector has specific challenges such as the high cost of drug development, extended timelines for R&D, and the evolving regulatory landscape. However, institutions like QIA that can provide patient capital and a long-term commitment can help innovative companies to overcome these hurdles.
This long-term approach to growth works best for our partners and aligns with our mandate.