When Big Data and Plant-Based Medical Treatments Collide
Plant-based medical treatments are gaining popularity, as consumers become increasingly more privy to their various health benefits.
By 2030, the global botanical and plant-derived drug market is expected to reach $37.8 billion, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5%.
Yet, while its future looks promising, the industry still some roadblocks to overcome. This graphic by RYAH MedTech looks at the key issues the plant-based medical industry is facing, and how big data can help solve them.
Key Industry Roadblocks
Plant-based treatments—such as medical cannabis—have come a long way in recent years. However, inconsistencies in regulation and dosage are making it hard for the industry to reach its full potential.
- Inconsistent regulation
Access to medical cannabis is still not equal across America, but legalization is becoming increasingly more widespread. For instance, Kansas passed a bill earlier this year that will legalize medical cannabis, as soon as the legislation is passed through the Senate.
- Inconsistent dosage standards
While consumers have expressed a desire for standardized dosing, there is no current jurisdiction to guide consumption. For example, studies have shown a lack of genetic consistency among different products that claim to use the same strain.
- Knowledge gap
Many physicians see the value in plant-based treatments, but some still don’t feel comfortable talking to patients about it. A recent survey found that 50% of Michigan-based healthcare respondents—where medical cannabis has been legal since 2008—didn’t feel comfortable answering patient questions about medical cannabis.
In order to overcome these challenges, the industry needs to fill the knowledge gap and ultimately boost credibility.
For this to happen, plant-based treatments need to become more predictable and standardized. And that’s where big data and analytics can help.
Big Data’s Big Role in the Industry
Big data refers to large datasets that continually grow. These datasets are made up of information that is sourced from things like apps, devices, and online platforms. The need to leverage data in the plant-based medicine industry has resulted in an explosion of innovation.
RYAH MedTech collects massive amounts of patient data through devices such as smart inhalers, pens, and patches. These devices track, synthesize, and analyze patient information, which can help create a more personalized treatment plan tailored to the patient and their specific needs.
In addition to helping boost the patient’s experience, big data also has the potential to fill the knowledge gap within the plant-based medical industry and give physicians the information they need, which could boost its overall credibility.
Data is the Answer
Plant-based medical treatments have vast potential—so much so, that adjacent industries are taking measures to protect their market share.
But the industry needs to become more standardized before it can level up. This is why companies like RYAH MedTech are helping to close the gap in missing data, through a suite of IoT devices and software.
An Introduction to MSCI ESG Indexes
With an extensive suite of ESG indexes on offer, MSCI aims to support investors as they build a more personalized and resilient portfolio.
An Introduction to MSCI ESG Indexes
There are various portfolio objectives within the realm of sustainable investing.
For example, some investors may want to build a portfolio that reflects their personal values. Others may see environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria as a tool for improving long-term returns, or as a way to create positive impact. A combination of all three of these motivations is also possible.
To support investors as they embark on their sustainable journey, our sponsor, MSCI, offers over 1,500 purpose-built ESG indexes. In this infographic, we’ll take a holistic view at what these indexes are designed to achieve.
An Extensive Suite of ESG & Climate Indexes
Below, we’ll summarize the four overarching objectives that MSCI’s ESG & climate indexes are designed to support.
Objective 1: Integrate a broad set of ESG issues
Investors with this objective believe that incorporating ESG criteria can improve their long-term risk-adjusted returns.
The MSCI ESG Leaders indexes are designed to support these investors by targeting companies that have the highest ESG-rated performance from each sector of the parent index.
For those who do not wish to deviate from the parent index, the MSCI ESG Universal indexes may be better suited. This family of indexes will adjust weights according to ESG performance to maintain the broadest possible universe.
Objective 2: Generate social or environmental benefits
A common challenge that impact investors face is measuring their non-financial results.
Consider an asset owner who wishes to support gender diversity through their portfolios. In order to gauge their success, they would need to regularly filter the entire investment universe for updates regarding corporate diversity and related initiatives.
In this scenario, linking their portfolios to an MSCI Women’s Leadership Index would negate much of this groundwork. Relative to a parent index, these indexes aim to include companies which lead their respective countries in terms of female representation.
Objective 3: Exclude controversial activities
Many institutional investors have mandates that require them to avoid certain sectors or industries. For example, approximately $14.6 trillion in institutional capital is in the process of divesting from fossil fuels.
To support these efforts, MSCI offers indexes that either:
- Exclude individual sectors such as fossil fuels, tobacco, or weapons;
- Exclude companies from a combination of these sectors; or
- Exclude companies that are not compatible with certain religious values.
Objective 4: Identify climate risks and opportunities
Climate change poses a number of wide-reaching risks and opportunities for investors, making it difficult to tailor a portfolio accordingly.
With MSCI’s climate indexes, asset owners gain the tools they need to build a more resilient portfolio. The MSCI Climate Change indexes, for example, reduce exposure to stranded assets, increase exposure to solution providers, and target a minimum 30% reduction in emissions.
An Index for Every Objective
Regardless of your motivation for pursuing sustainable investment, the need for an appropriate benchmark is something that everyone shares.
With an extensive suite of ESG indexes designed specifically for sustainability and climate change, MSCI aims to support asset owners as they build a more unique and personalized portfolio.
Tracked: The U.S. Utilities ESG Report Card
This graphic acts as an ESG report card that tracks the ESG metrics reported by different utilities in the U.S.—what gets left out?
Tracked: The U.S. Utilities ESG Report Card
As emissions reductions and sustainable practices become more important for electrical utilities, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting is coming under increased scrutiny.
Once seen as optional by most companies, ESG reports and sustainability plans have become commonplace in the power industry. In addition to reporting what’s needed by regulatory state laws, many utilities utilize reporting frameworks like the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) ESG Initiative or the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.
But inconsistent regulations, mixed definitions, and perceived importance levels have led some utilities to report significantly more environmental metrics than others.
How do U.S. utilities’ ESG reports stack up? This infographic from the National Public Utilities Council tracks the ESG metrics reported by 50 different U.S. based investor-owned utilities (IOUs).
What’s Consistent Across ESG Reports
To complete the assessment of U.S. utilities, ESG reports, sustainability plans, and company websites were examined. A metric was considered tracked if it had concrete numbers provided, so vague wording or non-detailed projections weren’t included.
Of the 50 IOU parent companies analyzed, 46 have headquarters in the U.S. while four are foreign-owned, but all are regulated by the states in which they operate.
For a few of the most agreed-upon and regulated measures, U.S. utilities tracked them almost across the board. These included direct scope 1 emissions from generated electricity, the utility’s current fuel mix, and water and waste treatment.
Another commonly reported metric was scope 2 emissions, which include electricity emissions purchased by the utility companies for company consumption. However, a majority of the reporting utilities labeled all purchased electricity emissions as scope 2, even though purchased electricity for downstream consumers are traditionally considered scope 3 or value-chain emissions:
- Scope 1: Direct (owned) emissions.
- Scope 2: Indirect electricity emissions from internal electricity consumption. Includes purchased power for internal company usage (heat, electrical).
- Scope 3: Indirect value-chain emissions, including purchased goods/services (including electricity for non-internal use), business travel, and waste.
ESG Inconsistencies, Confusion, and Unimportance
Even putting aside mixed definitions and labeling, there were many inconsistencies and question marks arising from utility ESG reports.
For example, some utilities reported scope 3 emissions as business travel only, without including other value chain emissions. Others included future energy mixes that weren’t separated by fuel and instead grouped into “renewable” and “non-renewable.”
The biggest discrepancies, however, were between what each utility is required to report, as well as what they choose to. That means that metrics like internal energy consumption didn’t need to be reported by the vast majority.
Likewise, some companies didn’t need to report waste generation or emissions because of “minimal hazardous waste generation” that fell under a certain threshold. Other metrics like internal vehicle electrification were only checked if the company decided to make a detailed commitment and unveil its plans.
As pressure for the electricity sector to decarbonize continues to increase at the federal level, however, many of these inconsistencies are roadblocks to clear and direct measurements and reduction strategies.
National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource for all things decarbonization in the utilities industry. Learn more.
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