It’s 10 am ten years from now and Maggie is about to have her blood drawn at her office before heading to her next meeting. Ever since learning she carried a gene that increases the risk of a rare cancer, she gets an annual cancer screen through a simple blood test. This test is not only convenient, but she gets the results within ten minutes, which allows her to go about the rest of her day without stressing about results.
It was thanks to this screening technology that made an early-stage diagnosis of the same rare cancer possible for Maggie’s sister Susan. Only ten years ago, this illness would likely have gone unnoticed until it reached a more advanced stage, limiting life expectancy and treatment options. Because Susan was diagnosed during Stage 1, her oncologist was able to order a customized natural killer cell therapy, and begin treatment the same day she was diagnosed.
Shortly after her blood draw, Maggie receives a text from Susan’s provider that her cancer levels are declining, a sign that Susan’s treatment is working. When Susan was first diagnosed, the oncologist’s office was given permission to access her family’s medical blockchain to share pertinent medical updates of Susan’s choosing. These real-time updates have meant the world to the family, bringing them real-time peace of mind, while saving Susan the step of reaching out to everyone.
While reading Susan’s update, Maggie’s phone buzzes again. This time her blockchain account notifies her that her blood test came back negative. She also receives seven tokens for completing the cancer screen. These tokens are funded by her employer as a part of their company wellness program, for which she opted in. Maggie has also accumulated tokens by cycling to work over the past month. She now has enough to trade in for another paid personal day. She smiles in anticipation of an extra day at the beach this summer.
Her family used to earn more tokens a few years back when her daughter had Type 1 diabetes because they got one every few days when changing her insulin pump. They’re no longer earning those tokens now that her daughter’s diabetes has been cured by an innovative new therapy, but they feel it’s a welcome trade-off.
The world has changed dramatically over the past decade. It wasn’t long ago that Maggie was buying checkbooks for the sole purpose of paying medical bills. Now, with so much preventative care, her employer is seeing significantly lower medical costs for its entire workforce, even after factoring in the cost of tokens. When someone does get sick, any patient responsibility is paid for automatically at an amount previously agreed upon by all stakeholders using their medical blockchains. Maggie can almost laugh at the memory of receiving medical bills in the mail, which were often much higher than she expected. Innovation didn’t just improve the healthcare experience for her family, it improved their finances, daily lives, and overall well-being.
While Maggie would never want to go back to the days of healthcare-related inconveniences, higher disease incidence and risks, and less effective medicine, she does wish she had invested more in healthcare technology a decade ago. Back in 2022, companies like Illumina, Stryker, Teladoc, Fate, Akoya, and Vertex were on the cutting edge of so much of what has become commonplace in healthcare today. From early cancer detection to disease prevention to dramatic improvements in the consumer’s overall healthcare experience, so much was changing in healthcare that she couldn’t comprehend at the time.
For those of us still in 2022, the ROBO Global Healthcare Technology & Innovation Index (ticker: HTEC) offers a way for investors to tap into the disruption that is revolutionizing the next decade of healthcare. HTEC provides exposure across healthcare tech themes like early disease detection and prevention, digitization, and precision medicine. The portfolio includes best-in-class companies like the ones mentioned above and many more. Learn more about HTEC here.