2022 Trends in Health
Health care has become even more important in 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused — and continues to cause — so much havoc in the world and in health care that people have begun to pay more attention to their health. Not only that, but the healthcare industry and biotech companies have also been heavily investing in technology to help improve health and health care.
One technology that has been a big influence on biotech companies is artificial intelligence (AI). Biotechs are realizing the massive potential of artificial intelligence and how it can play an important role in advancing health care. AI can analyze massive collections of data with accuracy and speed. It would take humans a very long time to do the same things that AI can do.
AI’s potential and ability are vast and extremely helpful in speeding up research for scientists and these biotechs. This has been a big win for important research and medical development for cancer breakthroughs and treatments.
One company that's been using AI to target cancers is biotech startup HotSpot Therapeutics. HotSpot has been advancing its AI-driven technology to assist with identifying and targeting previously overlooked disease-causing proteins within the body to help the company figure out how to best treat the illness.
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Geraldine Harriman, HotSpot’s co-founder and chief scientific officer, had this to say in a recent interview:
What’s also super exciting for us is the mixture of healthcare venture attention as well as the technology sector. It’s having investors that are typically technology-focused investors and really seeing the value of that interface between technology and medicine.
Using technology like AI within the health industry has given startups like HotSpot Therapeutics the chance to get more investors on board, especially the ones who are focused on technology. And more funding means that HotSpot and other similar companies can do more research and development, which could mean faster results or even quicker commercialization.
Gene editing and cell therapy have also become big topics in health in the past year. The technology has allowed scientists to focus on cancer and other chronic illnesses, which is giving new hope to a lot of patients and doctors.
In an interview, Northpond Ventures director Adam Wieschhaus said:
From a public market standpoint, some of the largest IPOs [in 2021] were in the field of gene editing and cell therapy. These companies are making significant progress in advancing these novel therapies in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other key areas of unmet need, and we believe these solutions will have durable, long-term benefits to improving patient outcomes.
The possibilities with these two approaches could be astounding for the medical and healthcare industries. However, the biggest obstacle for these technologies is figuring out how to scale and industrialize the processes that are involved with the technologies so that the same results are available.
Another significant trend that will follow into 2022 is mental health. The awareness that has emerged around the world when it comes to mental health has been astounding. A topic that was once taboo has now become a subject that a lot of people feel more comfortable discussing. People around the world are talking more openly about their struggles with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mental health issues, which has made other people feel more comfortable and less alone when it comes to their struggles.
Our lifestyles have drastically changed in the past two years because of the pandemic, and that has helped draw attention to mental health issues and in many cases has exacerbated them. Having more technology companies that are focused on providing mental health assistance to individuals has proved to be an important resource to those people who now are seeking the help they need.
A lot more people have stopped ignoring their mental health, mainly because they can't push their problems aside any longer. Especially after all the stress the past two years have brought us — worries about our jobs, finances, and health.
Mental health apps that give individuals access to licensed professionals without having to visit a therapist’s office are extremely appealing. People already feel vulnerable when it comes to their mental health, and going to an office could result in added anxiety. But with mental health apps, they can talk to a professional in the comfort of their home, where they feel secure.
These are just a few health trends that we could see grow in 2022.
Until next time,