The health sector has long been an area of great interest for different types of investors – not only in the United States, but also in Europe – who are part of investment funds and private equity entities (better known as venture capital). There are various reasons for this: including the shortcomings that are often associated with the public health sector, the development of new types of technological advances applied to health and, also, the general interest people take in issues related to their health and well-being.
Since 2014, the interest of investors has become more prominent. And in Spain there were several changes that occurred in the private healthcare sector: with mergers and acquisitions the result of large-scale investment from private funds. Some of this investment came from the health industry, which has prior knowledge of the sector; but a significant portion was based purely on economic criteria, with investments made in consideration of profit estimates.
The potential of Big data and artificial intelligence applied to the medical industry represents possible advances in fertility treatments. This is an area that requires substantial research and innovation, and a significant amount of investment. New technologies promise a considerable leap forward in the field of human reproduction. The advances that are occurring in the field of genetics, are also linked in a reciprocal manner to advances in assisted treatments for fertility.
Another area of interest for new investment is in the field of pharmacology, due to the development of new drugs. Here again we see that reproductive medicine requires crucial advances, in order to make the various drugs used in assisted reproductive treatments more effective. This is especially true for ovarian stimulation, where side effects are continually being reduced with an increase in effectiveness.
Clinical interest ahead of economic factors
The fact that the field of health, and in our case that of reproductive medicine, are of interest to investors is a big positive. This is for two reasons: because it demonstrates the productive potential of this sector, and because it is a field that is very beneficial for society as a whole. Or put in other words, it has an economic benefit as well as a social benefit. This is a point that, in my opinion, must be made very clear. However, not everyone is concerned about both of these aspects when investing in the health and human reproduction sector. This inevitably has consequences.
Human reproduction is an area where medical and emotional considerations intersect.
Although emotional concerns are inevitably a part of medical practice – as they should be – this is especially true of reproductive medicine. Additionally, the people who come to our clinics have concerns that must be addressed on the doctor-patient level. This requires a significant amount of emotional intelligence that will make them feel more secure and help them to see an assisted reproduction treatment as a process that can make their dreams of being a mother or father a reality. However, it is not an exact science and, consequently, not every story is one of success, although fortunately this is less and less often the case.
The Spanish brand of human reproduction
Our country is at the forefront of human reproduction treatments, in terms of experience, available technology and, above all, the qualifications of our medical professionals. This is not a coincidence. We have earned this reputation thanks to the dual focus that I mentioned earlier. The profitability of an assisted reproduction clinic:
Is a result of the profound level of knowledge and commitment of its medical professionals, and the confidence investors have in them.
Now that it is becoming clear how investment funds are getting involved in this medical field, we should remember that their strategy, although legitimate, is to look for profitability in the short to medium term and then to subsequently divest with a capital gain. This is not always the case -although it is true in regards to venture capital funds-, however often clinical considerations are secondary to economic factors. And this is not a good thing. In any case it is the patients, with clear information and transparency from clinics, who know the factors that are important to them and have the ability to make a choice.