united kingdomen
Hope for our health

Hope for our health

27-06-2014 | Research

The development of new cures for severe diseases and the aging of the population have blown up healthcare costs. Fortunately, new tools and technologies promise to enhance productivity and improve healthcare quality. Henk Grootveld, Portfolio Manager of Rolinco and Robeco Global Growth Trends Equities, and Steef Bergakker, Robeco’s Trend Analyst, discuss these exciting new developments and the arising investment opportunities.

  • Henk Grootveld
    Portfolio Manager/ Head Trends Investing

Modern medicine has been very successful in treating once fatal diseases. Infant diseases have almost been erased thanks to pediatric vaccines. Once lethal diseases like tuberculosis, diphtheria and cholera have been tamed and even hard-to-crack HIV has been transformed from a fatal disease into a chronic one. There is also hope of further successes in the future. In cancer, for example, a new breakthrough therapy has been discovered that looks to be defeating at least some of the many different types of cancer.

Stay informed on our latest insights with monthly mail updates
Stay informed on our latest insights with monthly mail updates

Explosion of healthcare costs

Unfortunately, this success has had an unwelcome side-effect: an explosion of healthcare costs. The combination of more diseases that can be treated and more people that have access to healthcare has caused healthcare costs to outgrow GDP for decades. In many developed nations healthcare spending already exceeds 10% of GDP and is still climbing. 

The demand for healthcare is virtually guaranteed to soar over the coming decades, simply because healthcare demand is positively correlated to age and the proportion of elderly people is inexorably growing in virtually every region of the world. If we cannot find ways to dramatically increase healthcare productivity, costs will run out of control sooner rather than later and healthcare will become unaffordable.

New ways to raise productivity

Fortunately, exciting new tools and technologies that promise huge productivity improvements in healthcare are now rapidly evolving and gaining critical mass. Examples are DNA testing, diagnostic imaging technology, artificial intelligence and personalized medicine. For investors, there are three trends from which we can benefit, i.e. fragmentation, customization and decentralization.

Subjects related to this article are:


Please read this important information before proceeding further. It contains legal and regulatory notices relevant to the information contained on this website.

The information contained in the Website is NOT FOR RETAIL CLIENTS - The information contained in the Website is solely intended for professional investors, defined as investors which (1) qualify as professional clients within the meaning of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), (2) have requested to be treated as professional clients within the meaning of the MiFID or (3) are authorized to receive such information under any other applicable laws. The value of the investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Neither Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. nor any of its affiliates guarantees the performance or the future returns of any investments. If the currency in which the past performance is displayed differs from the currency of the country in which you reside, then you should be aware that due to exchange rate fluctuations the performance shown may increase or decrease if converted into your local currency.

In the UK, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (“ROBECO”) only markets its funds to institutional clients and professional investors. Private investors seeking information about ROBECO should visit our corporate website www.robeco.com or contact their financial adviser. ROBECO will not be liable for any damages or losses suffered by private investors accessing these areas.

In the UK, ROBECO Funds has marketing approval for the funds listed on this website, all of which are UCITS funds. ROBECO is authorized by the AFM and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

Many of the protections provided by the United Kingdom regulatory framework may not apply to investments in ROBECO Funds, including access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website.

If you are not an institutional client or professional investor you should therefore not proceed. By proceeding please note that we will be treating you as a professional client for regulatory purposes and you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.

If you do not accept these terms and conditions, as well as the terms of use of the website, please do not continue to use or access any pages on this website.

I Disagree