Season 3, Post 38: The marvels of medtech (part two)

Innovation is alive in the world of healthcare. This was the prevailing impression your author took away with him from having spent five hours at the MedTech…

Season 3, Post 38: The marvels of medtech (part two)

Innovation is alive in the world of healthcare. This was the prevailing impression your author took away with him from having spent five hours at the MedTech Expo in Birmingham last week. Over 150 organisations including heavyweights such as the NHS and Roche were present as well as businesses spanning the whole medtech spectrum, from concept to design & manufacture via advanced technology, materials & solutions.

“The whole ethos of healthcare has changed” was how one industry delegate put it. This observation is less a function of the recent pandemic and more the result of increased digitalisation. The evolving healthcare model will be one that is both proactive and personalised. The almost ubiquitous ownership of smart phones allows for on-demand access to solutions and the continuous monitoring of problems. Expect artificial intelligence-driven programmes to feature more and more, even if regulation, data security and system interoperability issues will need to be appropriately tackled. Almost every delegate with whom we spoke embraced some version of this vision.

The Expo, however, was far from being all about software. Perhaps the two business models which impressed your author most were 3D-printing as the future of medicine personalisation and Airbnb for medical spaces. Begin with the former. FabRx – still private – was spun out of University College London in 2014. Its founders identified that there was an absence of 3D-printed options for personalised medicine and so built the business around it. Using a hot metal extrusion technique, FabRx is able to produce pills that vary by dosage, shape, colour and flavour – all contingent on patient need. It has already completed one clinical study (on metabolic disorders) and is working on two others (in cancer and paediatrics) currently. Watch this space.

We have made the case for the sharing economy for some time, with the logic of trusted platforms linking effective buyers and sellers being compelling to us.  Why not apply this concept to healthcare? MedicalRenting.com (another currently private business) provides a portal which connects doctors interested in the occasional renting of operating theatres and treatment rooms with the owners of such facilities. Launched only last year – partly in response to the pandemic – the business has signed up around 7,000 physicians and 15 facilities to-date, exclusively in the private sector for now. MedicalRenting.com is present currently in Poland (the home country of its founders) but intends to launch in Germany and Italy soon. Other countries will likely follow as awareness and buy-in grows. User feedback so far has apparently been highly positive.

6 October 2021

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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