The healthcare conundrum

Heathcare is one of Polestar’s key sectors.  Why would it not be as the NHS is one of the largest and complex organisations in the world. Annually, the NHS deals with over 245m patient visits with the reliance on the organisation increasing year on year. As the UK population steps closer to exceeding 74m by 2024 the strain on its services is set to continue.

The NHS conundrum of cost vs outcomes is a topic close the hearts of many (as famously demonstrated by Brexit campaigns in 2016). What is the solution? Do we continue to increase budgets or perhaps turn to privatisation and follow a model close to that of the USA?

There is no simple answer. However, where I do believe we can triumph, is using technology and the wider healthcare ecosystem to improve efficiency and the reliance on NHS services. In recent years we have seen the emergence of virtual GP applications (Babylon Health), health focused apps or artificial intelligence solutions. None of which have reached significant scale to address the healthcare conundrum. Where we have seen data transform various industries (e.g. Retail), the reality is that, for Healthcare, any solution using data is very much at its infancy. Less than 20% of the world’s medical data is held in a form that artificial intelligence tools are able to digest and learn.

Although I very much believe the future will encompass technology rich healthcare solutions. For the present, at least, we should continue to work towards an integrated healthcare service model that will help provide the health and care services required to meet the needs of the growing and ageing demographic. Be that in the shape of investing in the community or healthcare related services (e.g. adult social care).  BoJo has made this one of his promises.

The team at Polestar has significant experience within Healthcare be that through tech, buildings or provision, having worked on numerous transactions across capital raising,  valuations and disposals. Wherever your business sits in the market we would love to meet to chat through the issues and opportunities you face and understand how you plan to address them, maybe we can share how others have succeeded.

From automated eye scans to analysing the cries of new-born babies, faster drug development to personalised medicine, artificial intelligence (AI) promises huge advances in the field of healthcare. But major challenges remain.

By Bhavik Borkhatria on 25/07/2019