It's no secret, we're in the midst of a biotech and pharmatech golden era.
For the last decade, investment in research and development has been steadily on the rise, giving birth to hundreds of new and innovative technology companies.
And it makes perfect sense... The biotech/medical industry is, afterall, THE growth industry of the 21st century.
Why? For 2 reasons, both as simple and as basic as they get: Population growth and increase in life expectancy.
The result is twofold: more people, with average ages on a gradual but inevitable increase.
Those two factors at play in the US market alone is expected to increase annual costs associated with treating age-related sicknesses like Alzhiemers and Parkisons from $250 billion per year - today - to $1 trillion per year by the year 2050.
This rapid increase in population growth was a direct result of leaps in medical technology throughout the 20th century, but today, the speed at which new technologies rise is faster than ever.
And the advancements are coming from a number of sectors.
The most recent, and probably highest profile to go mainstream, is medical Marijuana.
From organic plant oils and extracts all the way to artificially synthesized THC designed to tackle some of today's most frightening, and deadliest neurodegenerative diseases - include age-related dementia - the cannabis industry is backed by tens of thousands of clinical trials, studies, reports and academic papers, as well as a wave of prohibition-reforming legislation on a state level.
Investment in what was once a $40 billion black market is substantial, and expected to grow as the industry diversifies in terms of product spectrum, as well as in terms of geography.
Federal prohibition reform is not yet on the books, but is expected to be within the next 5 years - creating a massive built in liquidity moment for the entire sector.
Once the stuff of science fiction, today, nanotechnology - the use of sub-microscopic particles and mechanisms - to perform functions on cellular or even molecular scale, is becoming a reality.
In the medical industry, operating on a nano-level allows scientists and doctors to repair cells, as well as destroy foriegn bodies with unprecedented precision.
Nanotechnological solutions are already aiding the pharmacautical industry in facilitating functions such as targeted drug delivery, but the applicable potential for nanotechnology in medicine spans the gamut from cancer to viruses, to physical trauma.
Researchers at the Houston Methodist Research Institute have already used a targeted drug delivery method in mice implementing silicon nanoparticles that decompose inside target tumors, releasing polymer strands that form a nanoparticle containing the drug to be delivered.
This polymer nanoparticle then dissolves inside the target cell, delivering the drug precisely where it's needed.
In another trial, Researchers at the University of Illinois demonstated that gelatin nanoparticles are effective in delivering drugs to damaged brain tissue.
As computing power increases, and manufacturing on a microscopic level becomes more advanced and cheaper, sophistication within the nanotechnological realm will also move forward.
Still theoretical, nano-sized robots will eventually be able to perform complex tasks inside a living, active organism, perhaps even in a preventive nature.
Robotics has an established history in the medical industry.
Among the most famous is the Da Vinci surgical robot, which gives surgeons unprecentended reach, articulation and dexterity while operating through incisions far smaller than required for traditional methods.
This machine is already helping to save lives and decrease recovery periods for patients with a variety of surgical needs, but it's only an early step for the medical robotics sector.
In the coming years, the diversity in applications is set to broaden substantially, with investment in a number of distinct sectors steadily increasing in the years to come.
One of the most exciting aspects of this expanding field comes is prosthetics.
Today, robotic limbs are already helping amputees regain mobility and functionality never before available with traditional prosthetics.
Aided by direct neural link with the user, artificial hands, for example, are nearing a point of development where response speed and dexterity can rival a natural hand - with the capability to lift and use a hammer, as well as pick up and move a raw egg without breaking the shell.
First and second generation prospethics, however, will seen be antiquated by smaller, faster, stronger and smarter implants which won't just restore natural ability, but enhance it.
At the heart of the exponential improvement in functionality, once again, is the exponential improvement in computer processing speeds.
Within the next few decades, seamless machine-to-human interfaces - facilitated by nanotechnological advancements operating on a nervous level - are expected to become commonplace, with the connection between man and machine being blurred to the point where man and technology become one.
History Will Not Be Repeated
Though history is cyclical, especially when it comes to economics, this moment we're in today, when the needs of an aging population are being answered by rapid, broad-spectrum advanced in computer technology, robotics and pharmacauticals, will not come around again.
We will never be in a place where both elements are growing the way they are today. Soon enough, the early-stage growth in experimental medical technology will go mainstream, at which point, everything revolutionary and prospective today will become commonplace.
That is why at Pro Trader Today, this is a topic we take seriously.
Stay tuned for more updates and editorials on this subject, and others.
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