Back in September 2021, we received investment from private equity firm, NorthEdge. Together our goal is to continue to reach new markets, geographies, and customers, so we can better support the people and businesses within Life Sciences.
Throughout 2021, $151 billion of private equity capital flooded into global healthcare (more than double the previous year!), and it’s businesses just like NorthEdge who are investing not only in Life Sciences but its infrastructure too.
As seen in their portfolio, NorthEdge are proud to support the growing sector with key businesses like Ramarketing, a PR and marketing agency supporting clients in the Pharma and Biotech space, CMap, a cloud-based project management software, and, of course, talent providers like Meet!
Recently they released a Healthcare Sector Report for 2022, in which they reflect on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and highlight the four key drivers that are paving the way for future success – Pharma Services, Medical Devices & Diagnostics, MedTech, and Health & Wellbeing. In this article, we’ll look at these core markets and share the trends we’ve seen here at Meet.
1. Pharma Services
Pharmaceuticals are an enormous part of the healthcare world, and the importance of their work does not go unnoticed. However, with ongoing pressure to shorten the time it takes to develop and bring new treatments to market, researchers are feeling the heat to find innovative new drugs to improve lives and meet patients growing needs.
As NorthEdge and our Resilience of Life Sciences article point out, in order to meet these challenges, big Pharmas have begun outsourcing manufacturing and research and development to CROs specialising in the relevant areas of expertise.
Moreover, ever since the pandemic, companies have begun looking toward more digital innovations to transform their business, which has helped cut costs, deliver improved patient outcomes and get drugs to market much faster.
As the industry continues to work to deliver on these novel new treatments, NorthEdge argues that “a significant number of new jobs and unique skills will be required to prevent a skills gap from emerging”. In fact, they report that 133,000 skilled workers will be needed for the industry by 2030, and it’s talent agencies like Meet that are invaluable for improving the sector’s skills and capacity.
From our side of things, our placements have increased by 93% year-on-year.
Ali Shaw, who heads up our European Client Partnership division, says, “we’re noticing that our clients are relying on our support more than ever to navigate an increasingly competitive landscape. They lean on us for advice on salaries, packages, and ways in which they can attract and retain the top talent in the industry”.
2. Medical Devices & Diagnostics
The world’s population is rapidly growing, and over the last few decades, our life expectancy has dramatically increased. NorthEdge report that in the UK, there are roughly 11 million people aged 65 and over, which equates to approximately 20% of the total population. In the next decade, this is expected to increase to almost 13 million!
Of course, if we’re living longer, it means more of us are going to need care, and along with that, we’ll understandably want more involvement in the decisions made about our care. To meet this growing demand, Medical Device & Diagnostic companies are making the most of modernised processes, and as NorthEdge state in their report, more ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are receiving contracts to provide their specialist services and increase the number of care options available, including more home-based solutions.
So, what about investment into the space? Well, the Medical Device market is the 6th biggest globally, and income is predicted to rise by over 5% each year by 2030! In that sense, as NorthEdge points out, it’s fair to say these lucrative opportunities will only attract an increasing number of investors.
From Meet’s perspective, much like in Pharma, we’ve experienced substantial growth within the Medical Devices & Diagnostics space. In fact, just last year, in 2021, we worked with 56% more Medical Devices businesses than we did in 2020.
3. Medical Technology (Digital Health)
Did you know there are currently around 400,000 healthcare apps available for download, with more than 200 being added daily?
As mentioned in our article, Resilience of Life Sciences: The Covid-19 Effect, the pandemic completely revolutionised the way in which we work and boosted our reliance on technology after it proved invaluable in our time of need.
In fact, remote-based systems proved to be so instrumental to us that they’ve continued to be used far and wide, even as Covid has begun to dwindle. As NorthEdge quite rightly points out, we now live in a time that is very much ‘on-demand’, and digital solutions allow consumers to take charge of their personal health. According to their report, 80% of consumers prefer to use digital channels rather than traditional face-to-face interactions when communicating with healthcare providers. Still, these systems don’t just make patients’ lives easier; providers can now personalise treatments to each patient with quicker and easier access to their entire medical history.
What’s more, professionals are also benefitting from the rise in digital solutions, as investment has allowed for more advanced technologies to improve operational efficiencies, such as AI diagnostics and project management systems. With this in mind, it seems like an incredibly fruitful market to invest in. NorthEdge predicts that MedTech will only continue to transform the sector due to “interest from major players around the world”. They also report that global investors completed 96 MedTech deals in 2021 compared to just 55 in 2020!
Here at Meet, if we think back to where we were five years ago, it’s doubtful that we’d cover a market like Digital Health. Nonetheless, its increasing importance has become clear, and along with its significant job opportunities, nowadays, we simply can’t imagine Meet without it!
4. Health & Wellbeing
As you know, over the last few years, Health & Wellbeing has become a hot topic for conversation, with people talking much more openly and candidly about their mental and physical health.
Businesses in the space have responded to consumers’ wants and needs by reinforcing the importance of looking after ourselves with fitness wearables, nutrition calculators, and apps for things like sleep and mindfulness. By making the move to digitise, these services now have the added benefits of integrating with each of their consumer’s lifestyles and becoming more accessible to a broader range of people.
You might have guessed that the Health & Wellbeing market is powered by consumers – quite a rarity for Life Sciences! But it’s because of our receptiveness that the global Health & Wellbeing market has an estimated value of more than £1.5 trillion and an annual growth of 5-10%! NorthEdge also notes that investors see tremendous potential for this sector, with mental health tech startups receiving a record-breaking $5.5 billion in funding in 2021.
As the world grows more comfortable with these topics and normalises these types of conversations, we’re seeing it incorporating into all aspects of life including work. As such, an increasing number of employers are now prioritising the wellbeing of their workforce, which makes a lot of sense, seeing as we spend a third of our lives at work!
Although we don’t currently recruit within the Health & Wellbeing space, we are increasingly finding that salary and benefits are not what our candidates regard most highly when job hunting – more and more it’s culture, personal wellbeing and work-life balance.
Ray Stenton, Managing Partner at NorthEdge says, “Mental health concerns are growing every year and we, as responsible private equity investors, have an important role to play in ensuring best practice is shared, adopted and prioritised in our business and portfolio when it comes to company culture and wellbeing.”
Taking all of the above into account, it only underlines just how much the Life Sciences sector is continually transforming and, as a result, receives growing investment opportunities. All of us at Meet proud to support an industry that makes a difference to global health, much like our colleagues in NorthEdge’s portfolio.
If you want to read NorthEdge’s full report, click here.