Vaccines against harmful viruses, treatments for life-threatening diseases, early genetic disorder identification and other groundbreaking innovations seem within reach; however, there remain challenges in realizing this revolution.
Europe must increase biotech funding and inculcate an entrepreneurial culture with increased risk-taking and entrepreneurialism, while simultaneously addressing inconsistent regulation across countries.
Digitizing healthcare and biotech is revolutionizing research and operations. Companies can conduct low-cost experiments and explore potential growth areas more freely than before – all while maintaining profitability and competitiveness in the marketplace.
Digital technologies are helping biotech and health-tech startups to transform the way healthcare and life sciences is practiced, from gene therapy, micro-robotics, cellular biology and genomic medicine – to gene editing technology and genome editing services. Digitalization in these fields helps address complex industry challenges such as regulatory uncertainty and cost pressures that have traditionally hampered innovation.
Biosplice, for instance, has pioneered therapies using alternative splicing to manipulate stem cells and prevent conditions like skin diseases, bone and joint issues, hair loss and more. They have also explored methods to make aging cells regenerate as rapidly as embryonic ones. Furthermore, Atomwise uses AI technology to revolutionize drug discovery with their approach combining machine learning and deep learning for data analysis on large sets.
As part of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person healthcare services were limited, creating an opportunity for healthtech startups such as telemedicine to grow. Abimbola Adebakin of Advantage Health Africa, an online pharmacy platform serving consumers directly, saw her revenue multiply tenfold during this period.
She believes digital health solutions will increase access to healthcare for people living in marginalized communities, including telemedicine, remote monitoring and apps that reduce stigma.
Although COVID-19 may have dampened healthtech startups’ markets temporarily, their long-term potential remains strong. This is particularly evident in Africa where healthcare spending represents only 10% of GDP; many Africans live in rural areas without access to affordable health services; healthtech startups can fill these gaps and provide affordable yet accessible care to underserved populations.
Investing in science
Science plays an enormous role in our everyday lives, from its effect on the night sky to our food choices and medications taken. Now more than ever before is it essential that we invest in science.
Biological innovation has the power to disrupt entire value chains, prompting businesses in virtually every sector to alter their strategies in response. To accomplish this task successfully will require effective trilateral partnerships among government, business, and academia.
Investment in scientific research is the only way to guarantee future generations will have access to quality healthcare, while keeping companies competitive and offering affordable medical treatments to billions. A prime example is the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccine which was made possible due to years-long investments; similarly for cutting-edge technologies – government must commit further investments for breakthrough advancement.
Biotech and health-tech companies are harnessing innovative technologies to transform healthcare today, encouraging self-care while increasing efficiency for healthcare practitioners, and creating effective medications to treat diseases that were once incurable.
Biotech startup founders tend to be older; with experience working at Big Pharma developing drugs for many years prior, and needing higher salaries and security when joining a startup due to drug development taking more than several years to develop drugs.
Regenerative medicine startups focus on using stem cell-derived therapies to restore diseased organs and tissues with stem cell therapies derived from stem cells derived from stem cells; such technology can treat degenerative diseases and injuries such as diabetes. Other startups reimagine medication delivery; FundamentalVR’s technology offers virtual procedures with physical sensory feedback so doctors can train with patients before surgery, reduce medical error rates, increase patient satisfaction rates, and even decrease costs by eliminating expensive live surgeries altogether.