Brexit apart, the NHS is never far from the top of the political agenda and, even with plenty of noise being made in many other areas, it’s likely that it remains at, or close to, the top of most people’s political concerns.
The recent Long-Term Plan, published by the Government, sets out how it wishes to see the NHS develop over the next decade and beyond, and it’s an important document not just for us as an investment manager investing in life sciences/technology firms, but also advisers and their investors.
In its plan the Government states that ‘the NHS has a bright future ahead of it’ but that remains to be seen and we have often stressed how it appears that the wrong metrics are being used when it comes to defining what might be a ‘successful’ NHS.
The number of doctors and nurses is clearly important, but is this more important for the quality of care, rather than delivering the long-term efficiencies that are required? If we are talking about the latter, then surely we should looking at the technological innovations that can be delivered, and this of course is where a business like Deepbridge fits in.
With this plan, the Government hopes to find efficiency and process improvements within the NHS itself, but we work with companies who are at the forefront of research and development, and it is these private ventures – often very early in their stage of development – which we believe are most likely to be the ones delivering the solutions, and efficiencies, that are required.
Small truly is beautiful when it comes to healthcare with recent research from Deloitte highlighting how it is the smaller, niche operators who, for example, are discovering new drugs and driving innovation in this area. And it is these business that are utilising the technology available to push the envelope in this area – to develop the products, services and solutions through the likes of artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, etc and, by doing so, are discovering new drugs and ensuring we have a more digitally-focused healthcare system.
Of course, healthcare is not just a requirement on these islands. We work with, and offer investment, in a number of firms who have a real global vision, and clearly as business opportunities this makes them incredibly attractive.
It means that we've worked with a number of companies, who have used the funding via our EIS/SEIS products to deliver software product for children with autism, a patented cancer diagnostics device that improves cancer screening programmes, and a software solution to help improve the accuracy of fluid balance monitoring, to name a few.
These cutting-edge developments, coupled with a true focus on technology, and access to the right funding, will ensure these businesses have the best chance of succeeding in the future. Advisers, and their clients, who want to tap into this, should make sure they contact Deepbridge to see how we can help them.
Andrew Aldridge is Partner, Head of Marketing at Deepbridge Capital