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Investments for the Future of Healthcare in 2022 – Which Innovations Should You Invest in This Year?

2022 will see the continued development and adoption of widespread technology in the life sciences, which is a key step in revolutionizing how physicians diagnose, prevent, treat, and manage disease. These technologies are also prime targets for those investors looking to enter the healthcare space or for existing investors that already have some skin in the game but are also on the lookout for outstanding innovations that can change the industry as a whole. Here’s a look at what will be trending in 2022 for the life sciences and what will be best to invest into.

RNA: Vaccines, RNA Editing, and Beyond

Discovered in 1961, RNA and its protein-generating form messenger RNA (mRNA) have evolved from being a difficult molecule to work with to becoming an important component in therapeutic innovation for both pharma and biotech companies. This was evidenced by the real-world example of the success of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which displayed the speed, versatility, scalability, and flexibility that mRNA-based interventions offer. Additionally, mRNA formulas can be generated in days and clinical-grade manufacturing accomplished in weeks, which is why having to create variant-specific boosters has been a problem for mRNA-based vaccine makers.

In terms of the market, mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics has a projected growth from US$46.7 billion in 2021 to US$101.3 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 16.8%.

Digital Health

With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, digital health took the spotlight in the life sciences industry, and the potential of the technologies being developed in this space continues to be of pivotal interest for investors.

This includes telemedicine, remote monitoring, and health wearables, as well as virtual visits and telemedicine. The reason why is simple: as the world’s cities went into lockdown, a need to virtually treat or diagnose a patient became vital for healthcare professionals. As such, the rise of telehealth took place.

Beyond the pandemic, there is also room for these remote and virtual types of care to penetrate the healthcare industry, thanks to the significant convenience and improved accessibility it provides. For example, patients won’t have to travel to clinics or hospitals for their check-ups or to participate in clinical trials, which reduces transportation costs for them and their caregivers.

The digitalization of healthcare and its capacity to shape the future of the industry is something that digital health companies are well-poised to take advantage of. Non-profit digital health company Rock Health noted that throughout 2020, startups in this space in the US raised US$14.1 billion in VC funding, a 72% increase over 2018, and the largest amount achieved since 2011.

Medical Device Innovations

Another type of technology set to see more innovation and growth in 2022 are non or minimally invasive devices and wearable tech. These tools help to encourage the development of personalization of care, which has a been a key life science trend for several years now.

Wearable devices such as fitness trackers first started the movement, with smart health watches that monitor health indicators swiftly following suit, turning this industry into a lucrative one. As for healthcare, physicians can monitor patients remotely through wearable devices that are connected to the cloud, allowing for real-time data collection; AI-based algorithms are also being incorporated into the tech behind these devices, which will pave the way for data analytics in healthcare to flourish.

Additionally, non-invasive or minimally invasive medical devices that can diagnose, monitor, and treat disease will open up the next era of innovation when it comes to wearable tech in healthcare. In 2021, neuromodulation was a key trend, with several devices receiving FDA approvals; their use ranges from treating conditions like depression to tackling chronic pain in individuals.

The devices are worn externally and delivery therapeutic activity via electrical or magnetic signals, or in the case of VR, it takes the form of imagery that is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy.

Summarily, the wearable technology market is one to be in, as it is projected to grow to a massive US$195.57 billion by 2027, reflecting a CAGR of 26.4% over 2020.

Life Science Technology in 2022 – It’s All About You

This year, investors can expect to see the trend of technologies in the life science industry centering on the individual. These innovations empower patients to be an active participant in their health and wellness, which is why personalized strategies like targeted therapies and customizable medical devices will be all the rage for startups and their financiers alike in 2022.