Five healthcare innovations helping to fight the transmission of coronavirus

Mar 16th, 2020 | By | Category: Equities

By Anthony Ginsberg, Co-creator of the HAN-GINS Indxx Healthcare Innovation UCITS (WELL) ETF

Five healthcare innovations helping to fight the transmission of coronavirus

Anthony Ginsberg, Founder & MD of GinsGlobal Index Funds, profiles five healthcare innovations that are helping to fight the transmission of coronavirus.

Innovations in healthcare are increasingly helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Constantly improving diagnostic tools are enabling healthcare professionals to be able to quickly diagnose or rule out coronavirus cases and the use of virtual care is helping to prevent the virus spreading more widely.

Here are five pieces of recent technology innovation helping the worldwide fight against coronavirus.

1) Remote Care & Videoconferencing

The West China Hospital of Sichuan University has recently installed 5G networking and communications equipment which allows doctors to conduct remote diagnosis of coronavirus via a telehealth system.   A telehealth system is the distribution of health-related services online and allows for long-distance communication between patient and healthcare professionals.    Such initiatives are being expanded to many hospitals globally, for example the Sheba Medical Center in Israel uses a coronavirus telemedicine system to physically treat and isolate patients.

2) Robots and Patient Care

At Providence Medical Center in Everett, Washington, physicians are now using robots to take a patient’s observations.  The robot uses a stethoscope and communicates via a screen. The remote-controlled telehealth cart allows doctors to perform diagnostic functions, including taking blood pressure and temperature. Such technology is helping to reduce the amount of in-person interaction required.

Robots are also increasingly being used to deliver food to patients and remove waste. They are also able to sanitize surfaces by emitting ultraviolet C light and sterilize rooms or facilities with suspected COVID-19 cases.  This technology is also being used to disinfect planes making international flights from coronavirus-affected areas such as China and South Korea to Los Angeles International Airport.

FEATURED ETF

HAN-GINS Indxx Healthcare Innovation
UCITS ETF

– Tracks the Indxx Advanced Life Sciences
&
Smart Healthcare Thematic Index (NTR)

– Provides exposure to companies listed
globally that are involved in the advanced
life sciences and smart healthcare industries

– Aligned with the ‘fourth industrial
revolution
‘ and ‘ageing populations‘ megatrends,
the fund goes beyond traditional Big Pharma to
capture exposure to companies at the forefront
of healthcare innovation

– Comes with a TER of 0.75%

– Listed on LSE (WELL LN / WELP LN),
Xetra (W311 GY), and Borsa Italiana (WELL IM)

3) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software Identifies Coronavirus Patterns

Healthcare IT firms are increasingly updating their software to accurately identify patterns of diseases.  Electronic health record (EHR) groups – including Epic in the US, have updated their travel screening questions in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New testing orders and screening questions are being used by leading players Athena Health and Meditech via their EHR software.  Such technology helps ensure information is shared with patients and providers more quickly and efficiently than incumbent systems.

4) Chatbots

Many healthcare providers have updated their algorithms to create chatbots, helping to screen users for the coronavirus before they visit a hospital.  Chatbots are also helping to reduce unnecessary hospital visits. A number of new AI style apps have been created that can interact with the public and answer questions about coronavirus.  For example, a WhatsApp nCov helpdesk chatbot has been established by AI firm Haptik.  It is trained to respond to questions about the virus and can also provide the public with timely information and updates.

5) Wearable technology

Medical wearable technology is enabling doctors to monitor patients for vital observations with far less human contact.  The Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center now uses a temperature sensor to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. These sensors are attached to the patient and are able to send real-time data and sensor readings to healthcare workers.  Such sensors are being expanded to monitor heart and respiratory rates too.

As we learn more about the coronavirus and patterns of transmissions, hospitals and healthcare professional healthcare workers will increasingly demand the use of such tools driving further innovation and distribution from the medical technology sector.

Investing in innovative healthcare

The HAN-GINS Healthcare Innovation ETF (WELL) provide investors with access to a basket of approximately 100 leading innovative healthcare companies that include producers of medical devices, robotics, genome sequencing as well as healthcare trackers/wearables and neuroscience.

WELL is a health technology ETF that tracks the Indxx Advanced Life Science and Smart Healthcare Thematic Index, an index designed to measure the performance of large, mid and small market capitalization companies primarily listed on an exchange in developed and emerging markets that are involved in the advanced life sciences and smart healthcare sector.

(The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ETF Strategy.)

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