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Biotech Investing: How to Play Catalysts in the Drug Development Process

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The volatility of biotech stocks provides an opportunity for investors. From discovery to commercialization, the drug development process takes many years. Different regulatory events and data from trials produces share price volatility. This creates an opportunity for investors. In this infographic, we outline all the regulatory events and what to watch for to make the most of biotech opportunities.

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Biotechnology

How Big Data Will Unlock the Potential of Healthcare

Data is driving the future of healthcare, and companies that are not prepared for this transformation are at risk of being left behind.

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How Big Data Will Unlock the Potential of Healthcare

Data is driving the future of business, and any company not prepared for this transformation is at risk of being left behind.

This is a reality in almost every sector, but it’s especially relevant to companies in the healthcare industry. That’s because the amount of health data being created is growing at a 48% rate annually, and by 2020, a Stanford University study estimates that 2,314 exabytes of healthcare data will be produced per year.

Simply put, the companies that can extract meaningful insights from these mountains of data will have a serious and durable competitive advantage – and those that don’t have a proper strategy for this boom in data will get lost in the weeds.

Breaking Down Big Data

Today’s infographic comes to us from Publicis Health, and it shows why big data is one of the six forces transforming the life sciences and pharmaceuticals industries.

Big data in healthcare spans four different dimensions:

Volume
The sheer amount of data created can be processed and interpreted by AI.

Veracity
Noise, abnormality, and biases can undermine trust and accuracy of data. Data assurance can help guarantee analytics are credible and error-free.

Velocity
Healthcare is time sensitive, and being able to process large amounts of data in real-time is crucial.

Variety
Big data comes from a myriad of sources, such as social media or IoT devices. Actionable insights can be gained from analyzing different data sources together.

Healthcare businesses must learn to quickly distill information from masses of data and to transform them into actionable insights. The ability to extract these insights will power the future of health, and become a differentiator for companies to thrive and stay ahead of emerging competitors.

Analytical Nirvana

How can companies reach “analytical nirvana”, a state where analytics can be used for strategic differentiation?

Companies must move towards being more service-focused, by transforming data into compelling stories that bridge the gap between customer engagement and action.

Further, this change must be powered by predictive health intelligence that can interpret data to create more personalized experiences for customers. Finally, data must be democratized throughout an organization, so that even non-analysts can deploy gained insights to achieve these other goals.

This journey may seem like a daunting task, but companies that successfully navigate this transformation will gain an edge that will continue to grow in importance in the digital era.

This is part two of a seven part series. Stay tuned by subscribing to Visual Capitalist for free, as we go into these six forces in more detail in the future.

Navigating Transformative Forces in HealthcareHow Big Data Will Unlock the Potential of HealthcareHow Tech is Changing How Healthcare Must Communicate With PatientsThe Amazonification of HealthcareHow Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Clinical Trial RecruitmentEHR as a GPS for HealthcareComing soon

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Biotechnology

Cryonics: Putting Death on Ice

This infographic delves into the mechanics and feasibility of cryonics – a process that thousands of people are betting will give them a second shot at life.

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Cryonics: Putting Death on Ice

There is a potent thread winding its way through generations of human culture. From Ancient Egyptian rituals to Kurzweil’s Singularity, many paths have sprung up leading to the same elusive destination: immortality.

Today, the concept is as popular as it’s ever been, and technological advances are giving people hope that immortality, or at very least radical life extension, may be within reach. Is modern technology advanced enough to give people a second chance through cryonics?

Today’s infographic, courtesy of Futurism, tackles our growing fascination with putting death on ice.

The Prospect of Immortality

Robert C. W. Ettinger’s seminal work, The Prospect Of Immortality, detailed many of the scientific, moral, and economic implications of cryogenically freezing humans for later reanimation. It was after that book was published in 1962 that the idea of freezing one’s body after death began to take hold.

One of the most pressing questions is, even if we’re able to revive a person who has been cryogenically preserved, will the person’s memories and personality remain intact? Ettinger posits that long-term memory is stored in the brain as a long-lasting structural modification. Basically, those memories will remain, even if the brain’s “power is turned off”.


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Descending into the Deep-Freeze

There are three main steps in the cryogenic process:

1) Immediately after a patient dies, the body is cooled with ice packs and transported to the freezing location.

2) Next, blood is drained from the patient’s body and replaced with a cryoprotectant (basically the same antifreeze solution used to transport organs destined for transplant).

3) Finally, once the body arrives at the cryonic preservation facility, the body is cooled to -196ºC (-320.8ºF) over the course of two weeks. Bodies are generally stored upside-down in a tank of liquid nitrogen.

The Economics of Cryopreservation

At prices ranging from about $30,000 to $200,000, cryopreservation may sound like an option reserved for the wealthy, but many people fund the procedure by naming a cryonics company as the primary benefactor of their life insurance policy. Meanwhile, in the event of a death that doesn’t allow for preservation of the body, the money goes to secondary beneficiaries.

Even if we do eventually find a way to reanimate frozen humans, another important consideration is how those people would take care of themselves financially. That’s where a cryonics or personal revival trust comes into play. A twist on a traditional dynastic trust, this arrangement ensures that there are funds to cover costs of the cryopreservation, as well as ensure the grantor would have assets when they’re unthawed. Of course, there are risks involved beyond the slim possibility of reanimation. The legal code in hundreds of years could be vastly different than today.

If you created a trust for specific purposes in 1711, it is unlikely it would function in the same way today.

– Kris Knaplund, Law Professor, Pepperdine University

Cold Humans, Hot Market

At last count, there are already 346 people in the deep freeze, with thousands more on the waiting list. As technology improves, those numbers are sure to continue rising.

Time will tell whether cryonically preserved people are able to cheat death. In the meantime? The cryonics industry is alive and well.

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