Healthcare companies are developing future strategies towards implementing full digitisation of their organisation. Digitalisation is growing exponentially, driven at first by smartphones and then by artificial intelligence (AI). Also, the growth in ageing demographics has played a significant role in increasing the expenditure of the healthcare industry.
Technology has played a significant role in many industries, and the same goes for the healthcare industry as well. It is considered that technology has the power to transform the healthcare sector, and an increased focus on investments is anticipated in the upcoming years.
After the digitalisation in the healthcare industry, the workload of the health practitioners has reduced as they can manage and keep a record of patient activities and provide quick patient care. Due to the considerable increase in investments, interest in digital health has been palpable in the last five years.
Some digital technologies which can drive a decent growth to the healthcare sector in upcoming years are:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Electronic health record (EHR)
- Health tracking applications
- Internet of medical things
The innovative technologies and tools are already starting to make waves across the healthcare system and hold great promise for transforming the delivery of health services soon- enhancing efficiency and bettering patient care.
The key trends that will shape the healthcare industry in the future are:
- Improvements in clinical development and drug discovery- The use of digital technologies in the pharmaceutical R&D has reduced the burden of clinical documentation during the drug discovery. Certain lab experiments are being replaced by digital solutions like computer-assisted trial design, clinical trial simulation, modelling and simulation, model-based drug discovery, and development and more.
- Diagnosis and detection- Another essential trend of the digital healthcare transformation is in terms of diagnosis and detection. The companies are collecting their own health data from medical devices that have wearable technology. Hence, the healthcare companies are taking the initiative by investing in the medical devices (wearable) that can keep the latest monitoring of patients for determining the possibility of any significant health issue. The most common tools are heart rate sensors, oximeters, exercise trackers, sweat meters etc.
- Increasing access to healthcare facilities- For providing services in a remote or rural location in the developing countries, digital health can be a strong enabler. By directly connecting patients to the doctor’s telehealth can play a crucial role in delivering health facilities. The unnecessary referrals and cost of treatment can be reduced by using mobile technology to centralise healthcare expertise.
Let us now discuss ASX listed digital healthcare stocks- ALC, HMD
Alcidion Group Limited (ASX:ALC)
An ASX-listed digital healthcare company, Alcidion Group Limited is working with the objective of changing healthcare sector with its smart, intuitive technology solutions to meet the requirements of the hospital and allied healthcare, at the global level. The company provides a supportive set of software and services to build a unique offering in the healthcare industry on a worldwide scale.
With an experience of more than 25 years in the industry, Alcidion combines the best of market knowledge and technology to provide solutions to improve healthcare for everyone.
The company updated the market with its investor’s presentation on ASX, quick highlights from the presentation are:
- Alcidion signed two contracts in Q3 since the release of the Appendix 4C, adding a further $1 million of sold revenue which is to be recognised in the fiscal year 2020.
- The company also provided an update on the third quarter 2020 activities and disclosed the commercial launch of Miya MEMRe to the UK market in the third quarter of the financial year 2020.
- The company expects to generate approximately $15.4 million in revenue for the fiscal year 2020.
- Recurring revenue for the second quarter of the financial year 2020 increased by 22.7% as compared to the previous corresponding period (pcp).
- The company has cash reserves of approximately $17.2 million including available cash and $7 million on term deposit.
- Alcidion signed the First contract for Better’s OPENeP with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Foundation Trust.
- Alcidion made a solid start to the fiscal year 2020 with strong sales and several investments made to grow the business. Investment in growth and development in progress in the second quarter-
The stock of ALC was trading at $0.215 per share on 20 February 2020, up by 2.381% from its previous closing price. The company has a market capitalisation of nearly $208.05 million. The total outstanding shares of ALC stood at 990.69 million, and its 52-week low and high prices are $0.039 and $0.305 respectively. The stock has delivered positive returns of 13.51% on a year to date basis and 35.48% and in the last six months.
HeraMED Limited (ASX:HMD)
An ASX listed MedTech start-up, HeraMED Limited is into offering end-to-end medical-grade solutions to pregnant women by employing smartphone-based devices monitoring fetal heartbeat, cloud-based platforms and AI capabilities. The company offers therapeutically accurate, scientifically optimised, safe as well as cost-effective solutions.
The innovative HeraCARE pregnancy management platform of the company supports expecting mothers as well as healthcare practitioners with better pregnancy management, including community sharing, lifestyle counselling, mid-wife assistance and home check-up by deploying artificial intelligence-powered algorithms.
Clinical study to evaluate HeraBEAT™ Plus:
According to an ASX announcement dated 10 February 2020, HeraMED unveiled that Mayo Clinic will commence a clinical study for the evaluation of its HeraBEAT Plus solution.
HeraBEAT™ is a Smart Foetal Ultrasound Doppler and is designed to be self-administered by the pregnant mother during the several stages of pregnancy. This clinical study will assess the accuracy, ease of use and medical value of using the HeraBEAT™ at home.
On 17 February 2020, the company provided an update regarding the clinical study of HeraBEAT™ Plus, mentioning that the trial will progress over the coming months. For the trial recruitment of expectant mothers having low risk will be done from the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of Mayo Clinics in Rochester, Minnesota.
More precisely, the clinical study would initially recruit 50 participants, with the potential for expansion and the primary goals are to plan:
- Device ease of use – It will be measured using the self-reported System Usability Scale on a scale from 1 to 5.
- Detection of foetal heart rate - Number of expecting mothers to detect the heart rate of foetal correctly using the device.
Moreover, the company has also revealed the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the clinical study.
HMD stock settled the day’s trade at $0.150 per share on 20 February 2020, up by 3.448% from its previous close. The company has a market capitalisation of ~$14.97 million. The total outstanding shares of HMD stood at 103.21 million, and its 52-week low and high prices are $0.137 and $0.330 respectively. The company has delivered negative returns of 17.14% on a year to date basis and 12.12% in the last six months.
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