Tomorrow Investing II: What’s Powering New Lifestyles
I asked my son what kind of car he wants to drive when he’s old enough. His response? “I’d rather Uber and be able to play video games during the ride.” But he still wants to sit in the driver’s seat. That got me thinking about the infrastructure that influences the behaviors of younger generations—big data, artificial intelligence (AI), mobility and 5G—and how investors should account for that behavior in their portfolios. Last time, I discussed the investment implications of the wellness economy by way of Gen Z’s environmentally and socially conscious palates. The following continues to use wellness from a technology angle with the inclusion in a portfolio.
Big Data and AI Find a Narrator in Health Care
Data tells a story. The more data, the more informative the story. The catch is that data need storytellers—and an audience. The Health Care sector is a perfect narrator for data, even more so when hooked up to the Internet of Things (IoT). Internet-connected devices used by pharmaceutical, medtech, and health service providers offer myriad opportunities to collect, analyze, and utilize patient data. Application of that data can improve preventative medical care as well as treatments for symptoms and disease.
AI-powered delivery mechanisms and services can help revolutionize clinical research, make more accurate diagnoses, and inform individual treatment plans. The wearables segment is another area to watch.
According to one estimate, the wearables market could double by 2022 to $27 billion. 1 Helping that growth will be an audience of willing, tech-savvy participants who already treat personal wellness behaviors as standard operating procedure: Millennials and Gen Z.
New Mobility Could Promote Better Wellness
Fatigue and stress are two factors that often dictate wellness behavior, or lack thereof. For many people, long, frustrating commutes, particularly those by car, can bring wellness activities to a standstill. So what would happen if people didn’t have to drive? A long, healthy life is often more a product of the environment, including diet, physical activity, stress, sleep and relationships, according to lifespan heritability. Change a significant stressor in a person’s environment and perhaps their overall wellness benefits.
Commutes made hands-free by shared mobility and autonomous driving may lead to health benefits by giving drivers back what they give up behind the wheel: time and, more specifically, time to prioritize their wellness. At the very least, commuters may be safer too. Human error accounts for somewhere around 94% of vehicular accidents. 2 The development of advanced crash avoidance systems could lower financial, social and health costs. More electric vehicles on the road as part of the new mobility ecosystem will reduce harmful emissions linked to disease as well.
New mobility goes beyond individual drivers. Health care distribution channels could get a shot in the arm if new mobility enhances supply delivery. Autonomous transportation is set to provide health care systems with increased access to more efficient distribution channels, allowing clinical supplies to get from supplier to provider to patient more efficiently and at a lower cost.
5G Could Make Health Care Faster, More Personal
Wireless technology-inspired health care can only do as much as its network permits. Fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, is set to offer mobile data speeds 20–100 times faster than 4G, along with low latency, i.e., the time it takes to process a high volume of data.
In health care, that may be a remedy for some of the irritability that the system causes. 5G could help in the transmission of large image files like MRIs, reducing the lag time between test and a specialist’s review. Low bandwidth increases wait times, delays treatments and stunts the volume of patients seen. Clinical research could be expedited as well.
The faster the network, the better emergency response can be too. 5G could allow health care organizations to enhance their AI capabilities at the hospital or out in the field. Armed with the ability to process data in real time, operators could instruct robots on how to maximize treatment, whether on the operating table or in clinical diagnostic scenarios. To that end, moving to 5G networks could also expedite the growth of the telemedicine market and personalize health care even further. According to estimates, telemedicine could become a $19.5 billion market, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 13% from 2017 to 2025. 3
Investing Insight: Millennial and Gen Z Attitudes
The lifestyles of younger Millennials and Gen Zers will increasingly reflect available technology because it’s all they know. As an investment professional, responses like my son’s get the wheels spinning about how to express growing trends and new behaviors like these within a diversified portfolio. As a dad, I’m happy technology can enhance my son’s well-being – though reading a book now and then wouldn’t be so bad.