The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 96 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of April 27. And the number of new cases in the U.S. is down significantly since January.
That’s largely because of rapid medical innovation.
As Alexander Green has mentioned before, Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA) created its vaccine just two days after China posted the coronavirus genome online.
And while vaccine development typically takes more than a decade, Moderna, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) rolled out vaccines within a year of lockdown.
And the pandemic isn’t the only thing that’s spurred incredible medical innovations over the past year.
In October 2020, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors.
With the gene “scissor” tool, enzymes “snip out pieces of DNA to restore them to their normal function,” according to Dr. William Morris, executive medical director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations.
Per the Nobel Prize announcement, the genetic scissors can “rewrite the code of life,” curing conditions that used to doom people to a lifetime of pain.
Scientists are also developing new blood tests to detect cancer early.
And Dr. Benjamin Neel, director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, said there is new technology that modulates regulatory DNA sequence patterns to pinpoint when certain patterns might indicate the development of cancer.
What goes hand in hand with all of these amazing medical advancements is the ability to bring them to the public. And that’s where business – and investors like you – comes in.
Healthcare for the COVID Era
To make good investments, you need to understand business. And part of that is understanding a company’s customers.
The pandemic has dramatically changed consumer behavior. A survey from the Alliance of Community Health Plans and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy shows that more than 40% of Americans have delayed care during the pandemic. And 41% are concerned about being able to see their doctor in a safe environment.
Unsurprisingly, the survey also found that telehealth usage has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Forty-six percent of respondents said they feel comfortable using telehealth services, and 89% rated their telehealth experience as satisfactory.
Companies like Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC), a virtual healthcare provider, have benefited greatly from this shift. Teladoc stock gained 150% over the course of 2020.
Its innovative telemedicine model is perfectly suited for the COVID era.
CVS (NYSE: CVS) is another company at the forefront of innovation.
CVS, a member of The Oxford Communiqué‘s Trading Portfolio, operates more than 1,100 walk-in MinuteClinics across the country. Customers can access a wide range of services, from treatments for minor injuries, physical exams and diabetes screenings all the way to mental health counseling and, more recently, COVID-19 vaccines.
CVS also provides telehealth services, including video appointments that are available 24/7.
Alex has pointed out that CVS is on a mission to completely transform the American healthcare system.
And, like Teladoc, it’s well-positioned for the current environment. It’s capturing patients who can’t get appointments with their primary care doctors or who are avoiding doctors’ offices due to COVID concerns.
Since March 9, 2020 – when the market began its coronavirus crash – CVS stock has spiked nearly 30%.
These kinds of innovations are part of a larger trend in America: exponential growth.
It can be hard to appreciate this kind of growth when you’re used to modern-day technology. But to put it in perspective…
When microprocessors were first produced in 1971, they could hold about 2,000 transistors. Today, they can hold more than 39 billion.
In February 2005, Google launched its Maps service. The app is now on virtually all smartphones, making paper maps a thing of the past and making getting lost nearly impossible.
NASA launched Curiosity, the largest rover ever sent to Mars, in 2011. Just three years later, the rover made one of the biggest space discoveries ever when it found water under the surface of the planet.
In short, innovation is at historic levels.
So keep an eye out for innovative sectors…
They may just help make your portfolio.
In the words of author Arthur C. Clarke, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”