Covid shines a spotlight on the importance of the healthcare sector

Whether it is the partnerships needed to develop vaccines or the remarkable strides made by telemedicine, there’s a growing appreciation that the health sector represents a dynamic source of deal opportunities.

The sheer range of investments available make the sector a perfect candidate for one of Private Equity International’s popular A-Z supplements. Some of the letter choices were more obvious than others: no surprise for guessing that C stands for covid or P for pharmaceuticals.

But the pandemic has also forced us to appreciate the importance of collaboration and innovation, so it’s entirely appropriate that R denotes R&D and T represents tie-ups.

Private equity has, of course, a long history of investing in the health sector, not without controversy as the collapse of some PE-backed care home operators proved in the UK. Healthcare investors are well aware of these reputational risks so it’s heartening to see Q stands for quality of care, highlighting the need to ensure that efficiencies are balanced against clinical outcomes.

The A-Z also illustrates other trends, such as the growing importance of KOLs, or key opinion leaders, typically top scientists, in framing the debate – something we’ve seen clearly in the pandemic.

There’s something for everyone in this A-Z, whether it is F for financing, H for healthtech or Z for Zoom healthcare. Demographics suggest that some areas such as E for eldercare will grow in importance over the coming decades, while the covid experience has shown that other sectors such as M for mental health could, sadly, rise up the agenda.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the difficulty of predicting future outcomes with any certainty. But whatever the future holds, this A-Z does go a long way to suggesting that private equity has a vital role to play in the development of this crucial sector.