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Imagining the Future of Healthcare and Biotech

In an era of accelerated change, the search for value in biotech won’t be found in historical trends, but in the macro signals of change.

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By Gregory Renza
Published August 30, 2022 | 1 min watch
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Key Points

  • The search for value in biotech won’t be found in historical or cyclical trends, but in the macro signals of change.
  • Anti-aging therapeutics, DNA-based personalization, AI-powered modeling, virtual drug discovery and inclusive innovation are reshaping the biotech landscape.
  • These transformational shifts will redefine markets in years to come, and should inform interactions between investors and companies today.

Few sectors are evolving at a pace that comes close to biotech. Every step on the journey from drug discovery to patient therapy is transforming at lightning speed. Radical new forces are reshaping the life sciences landscape. From a research perspective, it’s increasingly clear that the search for value in biotech won’t be found in historical or cyclical trends, but in the macro signals of change.

The Quest for Immortality

We have never been closer to our dream of living longer, healthier lives. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we see breakthroughs in medicines and therapeutics such as mRNA vaccines, advancements in healthcare availability through telemedicine, improving transparency in the food/health connection and other scientific improvements which will elongate lifespans at an accelerated rate.

No sector is better poised to both capitalize on and drive the Quest for Immortality than biotech, and we expect the near future to unleash new discoveries and a new era of anti-aging therapeutics.

The Individual Revolution

The rise of genomic editing and DNA-based personalization will create a new economy around the monetization of data, shifting the balance of power away from institutions into the hands of individuals.

The Individual Revolution is already present in a wide range of healthcare services, from genomic sequencing of cancers tailoring treatment to the promise of gene editing correcting a patient’s mutation within their own body.

Looking ahead, we see personalized therapeutics moving from rare diseases to more common indications, expanding the total addressable market and leaving fewer and fewer patients behind.

AI Activated

AI technologies are already transforming biotech by optimizing data, analysis and improving the accuracy of scientific models. As biopharma and tech continue to collaborate more closely, advances in AI will have a greater impact.

The automation of repetitive tasks will make biotech delivery more efficient and cost-effective, as AI-powered drug discovery will deliver better speed, cost and probability of success when compared with traditional approaches, with more and more companies building AI-driven, fully automated robotics labs.

Hybrid Living

COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of virtual healthcare, but many trends were present beforehand and will outlast the pandemic. As virtual realities become more mainstream and immersive, their applications in biotech innovation cannot be ignored.

Virtual screening-based approaches have the potential to reduce both the cost and time of early drug discovery stages. By offering more convenient service, faster scheduling, ease of access to specialists, reducing costs and personalized healthcare, virtual healthcare can add value and improve outcomes. We expect continued growth and investment in the sector.

The Great Balancing Act

There’s plenty of work still to be done to address the need for more scalable, sustainable, equitable and inclusive healthcare. To succeed, the industry will have to reconcile seemingly contradictory terms – safeguarding patients’ data while enabling innovation through broad access to that data to scale clinical knowledge and predict and prevent disease.

This will require a shift from the industry’s linear pipeline-model thinking to a more platform-driven approach that can more effectively apply data, analytics and technology to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for all.

RBC Imagine™ is a global research initiative that helps you see the change drivers of tomorrow to sharpen your business thinking today. This unique platform uncovers transformational trends that will reshape our world, pinpointing their impact on key industries. Learn more with our signature report, Preparing for Hyperdrive.

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