According to a Research And Markets report, last year the market for telemedicine was valued at $29.6 billion and is forecast to grow at a compounded annual rate of approximately 19% from 2017 through 2022. The reported growth of the market is likely to be driven by the increasing implementation of telemedicine, the rise of chronic diseases, a growing geriatric population, government initiatives, as well as a shortage of physicians among others.
Furthermore, well-known market research firm Frost & Sullivan will be hosting a Growth Innovation Leadership briefing titled “2019 Healthcare Predictions Unleashed – Growth Opportunities, Technology, and Trends.” The firm has already stated that globally, 2019 will be a year of value-based care as we expect the outcomes-based care focus to globalize.
“Favorable reimbursement policies for clinically relevant digital health applications will expand care delivery models beyond physical medicine. 2019 will be a reality check for two of the most hyped healthcare technologies of this decade such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.”
Following these latest industry trends, here are three healthcare stocks to watch this November.
Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI.CN)
Premier Health focuses on developing innovative health care approaches that combine human skill-based expertise with emerging technologies. The company’s subsidiary, HealthVue is focused on developing proprietary technology to deliver quality healthcare through the combination of connected primary care clinics with telemedicine and artificial intelligence (AI), which is right in line with the areas of interest in the Frost & Sullivan briefing. HealthVue currently possesses a network of over 100,000 active patients with intentions to rapidly increase that number both domestically and internationally.
Premier Health Group announced this month that it has selected Reliq Health Technologies Inc. (RHT) as its exclusive technology partner. Reliq will be providing Premier’s subsidiary, HealthVue, primary care clinics with a HealthVue-branded telemedicine, remote monitoring & AI solutions.
“The HealthVue patient app powered by Reliq Health’s technology platform will allow patients to book appointments, see their GP or a specialist via telemedicine, review their own chart, chat with clinic staff and pharmacists, refill prescriptions and share health data collected in the home with their HealthVue care team,” said Dr. Essam Hamza, MD, CEO of HealthVue.
Theratechnologies Inc. (TH.TO) (THERF)
Theratechnologies is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on addressing unmet medical needs to improve quality of life among HIV patients. Yesterday, the company announced that its Trogarzo® injection is now included in the most recent version of the treatment guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”).
Trogarzo® is a CD4-directed post-attachment HIV-1 inhibitor. Trogarzo®, in combination with other antiretroviral(s), is indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in heavily treatment-experienced adults with multidrug resistant HIV-1 infection failing their current antiretroviral regimen.
Luc Tanguay, President and CEO, commented, “We are very pleased with these guidelines. They recognize the unique mode of action of Trogarzo® and they confirm its usefulness in patients who cannot decrease their viral load below detection despite being on other antiretrovirals. The DHHS guidelines should give even more traction with physicians and payers in the United States”.
Flex Pharma, Inc. (FLKS)
Flex Pharma is a clinical-stage biotechnology company which focuses on developing proprietary treatments to specifically treat cramping and spasticity associated with neurological disorders. The company is conducting Phase 2 randomized, controlled trials for cramps and spasticity associated with the severe neurological diseases of ALS, MS and peripheral neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT). The Company’s lead candidate, FLX-787, is being developed under Fast Track designation for the treatment of severe muscle cramps associated with ALS.
In the company’s last press release, Bill McVicar, Ph.D., President and CEO, stated, “We continue to believe in the potential of FLX-787 to reduce painful cramps and spasms in patients with neurologic diseases. However, given the additional development work required to advance a FLX-787-based product, it was in the best interest of our stockholders to stop the ongoing MND and CMT studies, reduce our workforce and assess our strategic alternatives. That assessment is underway and we are working diligently to conserve working capital and enhance stockholder value. While we conduct the assessment, we are continuing to assess the potential of FLX-787 in dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and to operate the HOTSHOT consumer business.”
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