The synergy of digitalization and medicine
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Digital Health and Innovation

Digitalization is the driving force building modern technology and reshaping society. Meanwhile, increasingly expensive procedures and demographic changes such as rising life expectancy and a growing global middle class are putting our healthcare systems to the test as never before. By embracing digitalization, healthcare can rise to the challenge.

Digital technology can lead to unexpected breakthroughs in research & development. It has the potential to significantly improve the quality of medical services and curb rising costs. At a recent event at the Kirchberg hospital in Luxembourg, which is the part of Les Hôpitaux Robert Schuman Group, participants gained an immediate impression of just how far we have come, how great the potential for future growth remains – and how to profit from this trend as an investor.

The methods and tools of the digital revolution are finding fertile ground in the healthcare sector. For example, many of today's areas of research in medicine are characterized by complex causalities and/or enormous amounts of data to be gathered, processed, and analyzed – think of gene sequencing or even the genetic analysis of whole populations. The support of Artificial Intelligence-enabled systems can inspire and support such work.

Digital Health and Innovation by Credit Suisse Asset Management

"Digital Health and Innovation" by Credit Suisse Asset Management in collaboration with Les Hôpitaux Robert Schuman.

Activate latent energies

But digitalization can also unleash significant dormant potential within the existing medical framework. Digital technology, implemented smartly and prudently, can make existing methods and procedures more precise, faster and burdened with fewer side effects. One keyword here is the robot in the operating room. At the Kirchberg hospital event, participants had the opportunity not only to see the Da Vinci and Mako robots in action, but also to play with them and experience their precision and possibilities firsthand – literally.

Many healthcare situations are matters of life and death, especially in the emergency room. Speed, precision, and efficiency save lives. As could be seen in a demonstration in the Kirchberg ER, a digitally supported dispatching process, followed by fast and reliable communication within the hospital, makes for quicker procedures and frees up resources to deal with the next emergency, and the next…

These same approaches can also help deal with cost and efficiency issues more generally. Healthcare costs are constantly rising, some would say spiraling out of control, due to factors such as the growing complexity of medicine and demographic changes. An increase in efficiency, which occurs through digital process optimization, can provide relief.

Increase quality

Digital health care is a complex space with many moving parts. Dr. Damien Dietrich, Chief Medical Digital Officer at Kirchberg hospital, says that the opportunities are almost infinite, while emphasizing that his organization is focusing on using digital tech to improve the way the hospital works today. He adds that one benefit of these technologies can be to lighten the burden of routine tasks on medical staff, freeing up their resources for human, i.e. doctor-to-patient, interaction – a hallmark of high-quality medical care.

A good time to get on board

Despite the clear synergies and benefits of digitalization in healthcare, we are still just at the beginning. The appropriate expertise was required, companies had to be founded, and the technology adapted. Now, however, the conditions for a true leap forward are in place. This is reflected not least in the fact that we have succeeded in constructing a broad portfolio of pure-play titles – i.e. companies that generate at least half of their turnover with digital health. Just a few years ago, the market could not have mustered such depth.

For investors, this means that the time is now. The market is mature enough for the technologies to be sound and diversification to be possible, and yet fresh enough to provide an early-mover advantage.

Check out our short video of the event, which includes footage of surgical robotics, an explanation of the investment opportunity, and more.