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September 02, 2015
Healthcare technology M&A: Life Sciences new role in the healthcare ecosystem
By: Arda Ural

Using healthcare technology to augment clinical outcomes will be an increasingly important part of the pharmaceutical corporate business model.

A shifting landscape
Healthcare reform in the United States has started to shift risk from payers to providers and, in turn, to consumers. In response to this fundamental change, huge efforts are focusing on innovative ways to take cost out of the system, demonstrate superior health outcomes and improve patient experience and satisfaction.

The high rate of M&A activity occurring alongside this shift has been an attempt to expand product portfolios to areas of specialty medicine and grow existing portfolios—with new applications and capabilities for managing healthcare and delivering better patient outcomes. This convergence of healthcare, technology and services is creating new entrants and is forcing collaborations among unlikely players across the industry.

Beyond pills and apps
Life sciences companies need to redefine their role in this new ecosystem, and healthcare technology M&A could be a vital part of their transformation. Although providing a combination of products and embedded services to augment market position and deliver improved patient outcomes is not traditionally a core pharmaceutical skill set, pharma, biotech and medical device companies are well placed to invest in this space.

Healthcare technology assets offer an attractive way for life sciences companies to begin connecting with patients, providers and payers. Accenture estimates that the commercial opportunity for pharma to transform into a digital business is greater than $100 billion in the United States alone.

New role for pharma M&A
Traditionally pharma companies have looked at M&A as a source of therapeutic assets to fill their development pipeline. But turning that lens to healthcare technology could offer them significant advantages—helping to position them as a solution provider and thus changing their perception from being a contributor to healthcare costs to an essential player in delivering improved health outcomes.

Thousands of companies are innovating in the space, entities ranging from multi-billion dollar established technology firms such as Google, Qualcomm and Apple, which are intent on participating in the healthcare growth spur, diversifying revenue beyond their core business, to teams of entrepreneurs trying to gain access to funding from life sciences companies to fund disruptive technology. This presents a wide range of options for companies that recognize the potential of M&A investments.

By leveraging this transformative healthcare technology wave, life sciences companies can create interconnected ecosystems and explore promising technology assets as a source of growth and innovation to add to their portfolios. Companies that can identify these opportunities, test and scale up new healthcare technology-enabled business models, and apply their M&A tools will gain improvements in their operational agility and competitiveness.

To learn more, read the report: Brave New World: The Transformative Power of Healthcare Technology M&A in Life Sciences

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