Healthcare leaders boost AI, robot holdings

September 16, 2019

The healthcare sector continues to expand its use of artificial intelligence software, robotics and the Internet of Things, to explore the intersection of these technologies in surgeries and treatments.

Here are a few examples in the news:

UnitedHealth Group Inc., (NYSE: UNH) the Minnesota-based managed health care company,  is the 5th largest American company by revenue in the Fortune 500 rankings. It offers health care products and healthcare insurance to employers and individuals.

As reported by Healthcare Dive,  a website that covers industry trends, UnitedHealth plans to link the thousands of doctors in its network to the insights it gleans from analyzing information in database. This includes such things as symptoms and treatments, types of illnesses and other patterns in health and wellness.  

Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK), a leader in the global medical device industry,  has expanded its  robotics presence with a US $500 million investment in two companies. The companies use robots to provide imaging and navigation for robots used in spinal surgery. The acquisitions complement Stryker’s spinal implant and navigation offerings.

Stryker was the first multinational medical device company to bet heavily on surgical robotics with the purchase of Mako Surgical in 2013.   

Google (NDQ: GOOGL) and the Mayo Clinic  are working together to streamline the Mayo Clinic’s digital operations.  Mayo hopes to use Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to improve its diagnostics and improve its ability to conduct medical research and improve treatment precision.

Google Cloud will host health data collected at the Mayo Clinic although the health system will continue to control how the data is accessed and used, the data will be employed for research and product creation in tandem with third party partners, including Google. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stryker and UnitedHealth  are components of  the Harvest Portfolios Group  Harvest Healthcare Leaders Income ETF (HHL:TSX, HHL.U:TSX). The ETF aims to capture growth in the healthcare sector and invests in the stocks of 20 healthcare companies with a minimum market capitalization of US$5 billion at the time of investment. They must also have options listed on a recognized options exchange.  Google  is a component of the Harvest Tech Achievers Growth & Income ETF (HTA:TSX, HTA.U:TSX and the Harvest Brand Leaders Plus Income ETF (HBF:TSX, HBF.U:TSX).

For more on Harvest Portfolio Group ETFs click here.


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