Connected devices can curb diseases

Why this innovation will make an impact in 2020: Sustainalytics

Andrew Willis 28 February, 2020 | 1:28AM
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Connected medical devices

Andrew Willis: This episode is the first of a series covering the 10 most impactful investments of 2020 from Sustainalytics, and its recent report which identifies innovations that meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

One of the greatest concerns around the coronavirus – aside from “Will it spread around me” – is our inability to estimate exactly how many people are infected and where those people are. But 2020 could be a turning point for THIS problem as diagnostics go digital.

Connected medical devices could change the way we curb communicative diseases, says Kasey Vosburg, manager of healthcare and chemicals research at Sustainalytics. In fact, the impact that real-time diagnosis and monitoring, which can reach remote communities, has earned a top spot for ESG-themed impact investments in 2020.

There are already several connected medical devices being used for diagnosing non-communicative chronic diseases, from diabetes, to high blood pressure, to cancer. Expanding the production of these devices could be transformative for diagnosis and monitoring of diseases in low-resource or rural settings, and may positively contribute to two UN goals related to good health and responsible consumption and production.

When it comes to the diagnosis of communicative diseases (like the coronavirus), we’re still early days, but new technologies have emerged, says Vosburg – think smartphone apps that can test saliva, sweat or blood samples. French company bioMerieux (BIM) has an example of one such tool. Sustainalytics also identifies Philips (PHG) as a company worth watching in this space, with its software platform HealthSuite to host connected medical devices, and its efforts to embed key elements of cybersecurity, safety and sustainability.

For Morningstar, I’m Andrew Willis.

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Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis  is Content Editor for Morningstar.ca. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWillisCDN.

 

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