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The mega-industries of energy, healthcare, and digital advertising aren’t just ripe for disruption … they’re already being shaken to the core by tech advancements that were thought impossible just a short while ago.
For the energy industry, solid-state batteries could change everything. And it’s not a moonshot, anymore. These are the next-gen saviors of the battery industry, and by extension, the entire EV segment.
Billions of dollars are pouring into advanced technology that is no longer in the realm of pure imagination. It’s being commercialized as we speak, and the auto industry’s giants are piling in.
And the healthcare industry, broken and severely challenged as it has been, isn’t just being disrupted--it’s being digitally rewritten. Telemedicine was soaring even before the pandemic. Now it’s explosive.
Continued advances in digital technology, imaging, gene editing (no longer fiction), and AI are threatening to completely sideline annual doctor visits, according to the Wall Street Journal. Your next doctor might end up being an AI brain that thinks like thousands of doctors at once.
The tech stocks behind that will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the era.
And it’s attracting some very big money. Total VC investment into the digital health space in H1 2021 was $14.7 billion. And the year’s not over yet. McKinsey sees it hitting $30 billion by the time the year is out.
All of it circles back around to an industry that’s always been huge … but is ready for a sea change: Digital advertising, which is growing at 2X the rate of the overall industry and should gain another 12% this year alone.
The big disruptor here is “programmatic advertising”, which turns ad targeting into a game of supercomputers and sophisticated algorithms. This niche segment should see almost 30% growth this year.
In all three industries, the combined disruption sets the stage for brilliant early-in opportunities for investors.
These are the top 3 stocks on our tech advancement radar:
#1 Quantumscape (NYSE:QS)
Quantumscape has been an exciting stock for early-in investors to own, but it’s built on a foundation that makes every bit of sense in today’s EV battery market.
Li-ion batteries come with a suite of clear disadvantages, including capacity, peak charge deterioration over time, overheating, and the necessity for serious cooling systems. That’s not to mention their penchant for exploding or catching on fire if damaged or compromised.
Because of that, the holy grail for EV makers is now the solid-state battery, which uses a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid or polymer, and can deliver two to 10 times the energy density of lithium-ion. They’re more powerful, without consuming the extra space. And they should be able to charge faster.
BIg Auto is all over this, with the latest headlining news being Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) $13.6 billion investment commitment into the space. But betting on Toyota isn’t going to land an investor any massive rewards … betting on a smaller company focused solely on solid state could.
That’s QuantumScape, the California-based development-stage company that is working towards the commercialization of solid-state lithium-metal batteries for EVs and other applications (think: energy storage).
It’s got some pretty big names behind it, including Bill Gates, SAIC Motors, and even Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY). That’s because it’s widely seen as the leader in this space. QuantumScape’s solid-state battery can hit an 80% charge in under 15 minutes (it takes Li-ion batteries over an hour to reach this). It also boasts lower manufacturing costs that come in about 17% cheaper than its lithium-ion counterparts. It’s got better range and longer battery life, too.
Investors jumping in on this are betting on the future. This is a speculative play, but QuantumScape plans to bring its prototype into commercialization by 2022 and enter commercial production between 2024 and 2025. The speculative nature makes this stock a favorite of short sellers, too, but so far, big names aren’t flinching.
American healthcare is broken, and digital offerings are a major element of the fix, but the North American based Treatment.com takes things quite a few steps further with its answer to big tech for healthcare, with the most sophisticated Global Library of Medicine AI platform that thinks like a doctor because it’s been trained by hundreds of them, from all over the world.
The AI is “Cara”, the brains behind Treatment’s Cara Health mobile app that provides consumers with symptom checks, personalized health assessments, and full-on healthcare and wellness management from actual doctors--without stepping into an office … and without paying a dime.
This is the AI bridge that connects wellness, telemedicine, pharma, and health products all in one place. It even lets users manage healthcare for their entire family.
Cara asks you questions about your symptoms and then sorts through millions of pieces of information that include historical medical cases, demographic data, and advances in medical knowledge. The end result is a more accurate recommendation than any other digital tool in the world. And it can all be integrated with Apple Health Kit, Apple Watch, and FitBit.
Cara’s AI has been so effective, in fact, that the University of Minnesota Medical School licensed it to test medical students.
And, yes, the basic app is free. But there are impressive revenue streams for Treatment.com here.
In the world of mobile apps, once the upfront costs of development and AI learning are paid for, it’s all revenue, all the time. The company anticipates that consumers will pay for recommendations through premium app subscriptions and a series of upcoming plugins for everything from dermatology specialty segments, to cardiology.
There are three revenue-generating avenues here: corporate licenses, health and wellness products, and university medical school training. But the biggest value here is that Cara is a goldmine of data … Cara’s access to health trends can help insurance providers and governments to provide better health services.
And the market for big data analytics in healthcare could be worth an astounding $68 billion by 2025. Treatment.com was listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange on April 19th, 2021. Right now, it’s valued at around $170 million. That could soon change: It’s not on major radar just yet, but when it launches on the market in late November, it could prove highly disruptive.
Why? Consider this: WebMD is valued at $2.8 billion right now. Demand for its services is soaring. Yet, it doesn’t even have AI and functions largely as a glorified search engine with no medical support. This is what healthcare consumers want … and right now, Cara is the only sophisticated AI that can give it to them.
With the majority of Americans completely overwhelmed by a healthcare system that is impossible to navigate, we think this launch will ping some very serious radar not just because it’s meeting a very clear and soaring demand and has its own medical library with a sophisticated, doctor-trained AI that the company plans to scale up to ~10,000 disease diagnoses known to man …
But also because it will have access to a healthcare data goldmine that everyone in the industry will want to get its hands on, massive growth runways, and proprietary IP that could become worth billions.
#3 Trade Desk Inc. (NASDAQ:TTD)
This isn’t just about social media anymore. By far the fastest-growing segment of the digital advertising industry is “programmatic advertising”, which promises to put ads directly in front of consumers using high-speed computers and the ultimate in algorithmic science.
And Trade Desk is experiencing a major growth spurt right now.
Trade Desk helps advertisers buy digital ads across publishers in an advertising world that has gotten overwhelmingly big.
This stock has already been one of huge rewards for investors who have stuck with it long enough. Since it went public in 2016, investors could have seen gains as high as 4,000% on this one. It isn’t likely to give new investors the same kind of return, but market sentiment and basic company fundamentals suggest it still has room to run.
It took a hit in 2020 along with the rest of the advertising industry, which just needed to relocate its feet, but it’s back in full force this year. The company saw revenue increase over 100% YoY in Q2 this year, and 67% for H1 2021.
This year, Trade Desk has also set out to expand its business, which has meant major investment dollars spent. Even so, it saw net income up over 40% in the first half of the year.
Digital advertising has only one way to grow at this point, but unless it’s all consolidated, that growth is hindered--and messy. Trade Desk is the disruptive consolidator here, and its next expansion should be a big one.
Other companies looking to change the game in the healthcare realm:
Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) is a leading provider of cloud-based video conferencing and webinar services for businesses, education, healthcare, government and non-profit organizations. Zoom's innovative technology enables people to communicate as if they are in the same room using their desktop or mobile device with no download required. Founded by three Stanford University graduates in 2011, Zoom was ranked among America’s fastest-growing private companies by Forbes Magazine for four years running. With more than 100 million meetings conducted on its platform per year and a presence in 180 countries around the world, Zoom offers a powerful yet easy-to-use solution that delivers high-quality meeting experiences every time.
Zoom Video Communications’ dramatic rise to popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the growing need for video communications in not only the workplace, but also in the healthcare sector. By keeping people connected without going into the office, Zoom may have just contributed to helping slow the spread of COVID-19. And it didn’t stop there.
Zoom Video Communications has continued its pursuit of keeping the world safe and sound by partnering with healthcare practices. One, in particular, Pike Creek Psychological Center, has used Zoom to consolidate telehealth, phone and chat using zoom. Judi Willetts, Ph.D., the center’s co-director highlighting some of its own issues, including connectivity issues, limited functionality with other programs, and more. “Zoom could solve the telehealth problem, plus three other problems that hadn’t even gotten on to my agenda, and I realized it was comparable, price-wise. I thought it was nothing short of a miracle,” Willetts said.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of the most well-known companies in the world. They were founded in 1976 and this year they reached $2.35 trillion in market cap with their stock near an all-time high. Apple is known for creating products that are innovative, easy to use, and stylish. The company has always been committed to designing products that will create a better life for people around the world through innovations like these: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, iMacs, MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros; watchOS; tvOS; iOS; macOS; Siri voice assistant software; iCloud storage service; iTunes Store (music); App Store (apps).
While many might overlook Apple Inc. as a major player in the world of healthcare, its iWatch and associated applications are invaluable tools in monitoring individuals’ health. It is innovations like these that will help shape the future of medicine, and in turn help humanity live healthier, happier lives.
From its efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations to its Fitness+ app, Apple Inc. is making waves in the future of health. In fact, just recently, the company announced that it will be expanding Apple Fitness+ services to include a number of new workouts, group sessions and even meditation features. “We are excited to be introducing new workouts that bring Fitness+ users more options to stay active and motivated, plus immersive guided Meditation experiences that are approachable for all and easy to fit into your day. With new ways to work out together or alone — and coming to more countries later this year — we can’t wait to welcome even more people to experience Fitness+.”
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is a company that is responsible for profitable, long-term growth. They are committed to producing innovative products and services in the Internet space. Their mission is to help make information more accessible and useful for people everywhere while building an organization that can sustain long-term success. Alphabet's core values are based on "a commitment to innovation" which embodies their desire to always do what's right for users first, with data as their guiding principle.
Like Apple, Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, is making major waves in the world of health and wellness. From its COVID-19 initiatives to its FitBit product, Google is committed to helping the world live its healthiest life. Perhaps even more importantly, however, it is working on key technology that will help physicians optimize their time and make better choices along the way.
Google’s Care Studio is a brand-new software solution that will help doctors digitalize patient records while keeping this important data private and secure. In a note from the company’s blog, Google explains, “Care Studio streamlines key clinician workflows so that teams can quickly get the information they need to care for patients. It brings together patient records from the multiple EHRs an organization uses – giving clinicians a centralized view of patient data and the ability to search across these records.”
Blackberry Limited (TSX:BB) is one of Canada’s most exciting tech plays. While it has pivoted away from its iconic cell phones of yesteryear, it is still very much involved in pushing tech, and by extension all of mankind, further. It’s even building a global digitized healthcare database leveraging blockchain technology. This could be a game-changer for how health data is managed and distributed. But that’s just one facet of its big picture push. From it’s high-profile partnerships with the likes of Amazon and more, to its key posturing in the Internet of Things explosion, BlackBerry is tackling the industry from all fronts, and will be an important player for years to come.
BlackBerry also launched a new research and development arm called BlackBerry Advanced Technology Labs. “Today’s cybersecurity industry is rapidly advancing and BlackBerry Labs will operate as its own business unit solely focused on innovating and developing the technologies of tomorrow that will be necessary for our sustained competitive success, from A to Z; Artificial Intelligence to Zero-Trust environments,” Charles Eagan, BlackBerry CTO explained.
3D Signatures Inc (CVE:DXD) is a high-tech Canadian firm that has found itself in the center of two explosive sectors. It’s armed with an innovative new software platform which uses 3D analysis to target various diseases and help clinicians identify a diagnosis and optimize treatment plans. 3D Signatures’ software is saving doctors time which could be the difference of life and death for some patients. 3D Signatures sets itself apart from its competition through creating individualized treatment plans for patients. Using its mapping platform, the software can determine how a disease will progress and whether or not the patient will respond to treatment
3D Signatures’ broad scope and futuristic technology brings a promising opportunity to potential investors. It truly is at the forefront of a new era in medicine, and investors should not overlook this company’s massive potential.\
CRH Medical Corporation (TSX:CRH) specializes in products and services designed for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in the United States, Canada, and internationally. With a long history within the space, CRH has positioned itself as a leader in the field, trusted by medical professionals all over the world.
CRH also made a majpr acquisition at the beginning of the year, buying out Anesthesia Care Associates, LLC, an Indiana-based gastroenterology anesthesia practice. The estimated $2.6 million deal will increase CRH’s footprint in the space, and has been well received by investors.AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX:AEZS) is a major biopharmaceutical up and comer. The company has seen steady growth, and an array of new developments over the recent years. With a focus on oncology, endocrinology, and women's health solutions, AEterna has created a variety of new products, including Macrilen, the first and only FDA-approved oral test for the diagnosis of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency.
Recently, AEterna received European approval to market Macrillen which has pushed its value even higher. Dr. Christian Strasburger, the Head of Clinical Endocrinology at Charité Unversitaetsmedizin Berlin and the principal investigator for macimorelin explained, “Clinical studies have demonstrated that macimorelin is safer and much simpler to administer than the current methods of testing for insulin-induced hypoglycemia, and is well-tolerated by patients and reliable in diagnosing the condition.”
Aptose Biosciences Inc. (TSX:APS) is a biotech company specializing in personalized therapies to address Canada’s unmet oncology needs. The company uses genetic and epigenetic profiles to gain insights into certain cancers and patient populations in order to develop new treatments within the space.
Aptose has an exclusive partnership with Ohm Oncology to develop, manufacture and commercialize APL-581 in order to treat hematologic malignancies and related molecules.
By. Charles Kennedy
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