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How Is Digital Health Disrupting Traditional Healthcare Companies?

By Corinne Cardina - Nov 23, 2020 at 7:30AM

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Here's what investors need to know about how telehealth and technology is changing the healthcare landscape.

For many people, the coronavirus pandemic has changed their nutrition and exercise habits. One app helping people track their food and lose weight is called Lifesum. The company has scaled rapidly to 45 million users and boasts partnerships with Amazon ( AMZN 0.97% ) and Nike ( NKE 1.32% ).

Fool.com's Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina chatted with Lifesum's CEO Henrik Torstensson about how digital health is shaking up the healthcare sector, and what investors should know.

 

Corinne Cardina: We've seen digital health disrupting a lot of historical industries like pharmaceuticals and health insurers. What do you think investors should know about traditional healthcare companies as they invest for the future?

Henrik Torstensson: I think investors should think that this is an enormous market, digital is really happening now, it's picking up speed, and it's growing quite fast, especially for such an important -- and for good reasons -- regulated industry. You have telemedicine, you have online pharmacies, you have across-the-board, really, digitalization coming both on the traditional aspects and doing things that couldn't be done before technology, that if you were a doctor 10-15 years ago, you would probably pinch yourself that do I actually have access to this type of data that consumer products like Apple Watch or Amazon Halo has today? If you look at other industries, media, commerce, they were far further along, obviously they also got a bump this year from COVID with the lockdowns, but it's the same thing happening to healthcare and wellness, and it's just an enormous industry. I think that's the big thing to think about.

Cardina: Absolutely. Do you think we're just starting to see how technology can disrupt the healthcare industry? Are we in the early stages?

Torstensson: I think we are in the early stages. Obviously, how technology is used within healthcare is probably still going to be regulated even if it feels disruptive, maybe for many participants. But it's also that the technology that was only available for hospitals 10-15 years ago in a reasonable user-friendly way is moving out to our phones and to our watches and blood oxygen levels, etc., that you're actually getting for very standard home electronics or smartphone devices.

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