Investors looking toward healthcare IT innovators in 2020

A new KPMG report finds that 76% of respondents think the health IT market would grow faster than the overall healthcare and life sciences sector.
By Nathan Eddy
09:56 AM

Healthcare information technology will be the focus of investors in 2020, with interest in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector, home and hospice care and managed care companies also high on the list, according to a KPMG report including survey results from 333 investment professionals.

WHY IT MATTERS
The study projected the healthcare and life sciences industry would likely continue to be an attractive investment target for the foreseeable future, as national healthcare spending rises to $6 trillion by 2027.

Overall, more than three-quarters (76%) of respondents thought the health IT market would grow faster than the overall healthcare and life sciences market.

Healthcare analytics, cloud-based EHRs and workflow applications, revenue cycle management software, and telemedicine are among the IT products of greatest interest to investors.

The medical technology space, which includes precision medicine, robotics and smart wearables, is expected to continue to grow at a pace of more than 5% per year, with annual sales worldwide expected to reach $800 billion by 2030, according to KPMG.

Indeed, robotic surgery is one of the main potential areas of investor focus in 2020, alongside AI-enabled devices, while in the more classic medical device segment, the robotic surgery market is expected to continue to attract M&A interest.

As artificial intelligence and robotic process automation are more widely deployed, they will help re-humanize medicine by allowing doctors to focus less on paperwork and administrative functions, and more on patient care.

In the area of revenue cycle management, KPMG's report urged investors to look for technologies that facilitate one patient experience continuum from scheduling to treatment to billing.

When it comes to home health and hospice care, potential investors are looking for firms that provide a spectrum of services across nonmedical home care that range from activities of daily living and basic home healthcare for the transitional period after a hospital or rehab stay, all the way to home hospice scenarios.

THE LARGER TREND
Despite the demand for investment in healthcare IT innovators, a study released earlier this week indicates health systems don't always make good use of the technology they already have in place.

A Black Book survey of 748 providers organizations found the vast majority of them are failing to meaningfully integrate data analytics into their clinical and operational workflows, despite widespread availability of the technology.

ON THE RECORD
"We believe we are entering a very exciting time for investment in healthcare and life sciences," the report concluded. "Despite unknowns related to the 2020 election and uncertain industry regulatory challenges, there are significant investment opportunities across the industry."

The report predicted these opportunities would continue to gain momentum in 2020 due to multiple factors, including the push towards consumer-centric care delivery and connected medical devices, as well as new models of vertical integration, and consolidation for scale and efficiencies.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209