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How technology is changing health care

Eddie Yoon analyzes where he sees technologies that could transform health care and lower costs.

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Whether it's internet-enabled medical devices, telehealth offerings, or advanced analytics, Fidelity's Eddie Yoon says the health care industry is working to transform the delivery of and access to health care—and to improve customer experiences.

"I believe the new technologies being used by health companies to offer a more consumer-friendly approach to services is badly needed, potentially disruptive, and a likely investment trend in 2020 and beyond, says Yoon, analyst for Fidelity® Disruptive Medicine Fund (FMEDX) and sector leader of the Health Care team.

Yoon says innovative technologies are making their way into many parts of the health care industry, including medical devices that are making it easier for patients to manage chronic conditions and change current standards of care.

For instance, he notes that Dexcom (DXCM) provides devices that continuously monitor a diabetic's blood sugar and, therefore, cut down on or eliminate the need for finger pricking. Yoon also likes tech-enabled services in health care, such as telemedicine, which allows patients to skip a trip to the doctor's office and receive a clinical diagnosis via mobile phone or video chat. He thinks these services could improve patient access and contribute to lower overall costs over time.

Both public and private insurers alike are backing telehealth, according to Yoon, with major carriers such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and Humana (HUM) either partnering on or buying the tech-enabled services they think are the best and scaling these offerings broadly to patients.

Yoon adds, "While many of these new health care delivery models are early in their rollout, as they scale nationally it will fundamentally realign the incentives for providers and payors. Importantly, this could create a meaningfully improved consumer experience and be done at lower costs."

Lastly, the fund has invested in several potentially disruptive companies involved in health care analytics. For example, Guardant Health (GH) relies on vast data sets, advanced analytics, and digital sequencing aided by machine learning to develop liquid biopsy tests that seek to detect cancer early.

"Adoption of some of these technologies already is taking place, and I think disruptive medicine could be a durable trend that lasts many years," Yoon says. "I'll continue to keep my eye on companies that can help consumers make more-informed health care decisions."

Fidelity® Disruptive Medicine Fund (FMEDX) held securities mentioned in this article as of its most recent holdings disclosure. For specific fund information such as standard performance and holdings, please go to the fund ticker symbol link on this page.

 

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