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  • Singular Health Group (SHG) is in a unique position on the ASX to realise the potential of the developing medical imaging space
  • The company’s Volumetric Rendering Platform takes medical imaging to the world of 3D rendering and virtual reality (VR)
  • Furthermore, SHG’s Scan to Surgery initiative lets health professionals streamline the process from body scans to patient-specific surgical implants
  • SHG’s recent investment into Australian Additive Engineering and purchase of Virtual Surgical Planning (VSP) software are driving this initiative
  • Singular Health is paving the way in the vital areas of more detailed body imaging and better positive patient experiences

While the healthcare investment market is typically dominated by big pharma and biotech players, the reality is that treatment is driven by detection.

Even the best medicines and therapies become less effective if they are administered incorrectly or too late. Medical imaging, therefore, paves the way for health care success.

Imaging is crucial for doctors to accurately diagnose conditions and administer appropriate treatment.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Fortune Business Insights pegged the medical imaging market at US$33.69 billion (around A$45 billion) in 2019 and forecast it to reach US$43.33 billion by 2027.

On the ASX, only a handful of stocks offer exposure to this growing market.

Among these is Singular Health (SHG) which, with its innovative Scan to Surgery initiative, is streamlining imaging, surgical implants and patient experience.

Scan to Surgery: what is it and why does it matter?

Singular Health’s unique technology brings medical imaging into the realms of 3D and virtual reality (VR).

Known as the Volumetric Rendering Platform, the tech accurately converts 2D medical images — such as X-rays and CT scans — into accurate 3D models. These models can be visualised, manipulated, modified and reviewed either through a standard computer setup or through virtual reality.

But the company’s Scan to Surgery initiative takes this tech a step further.

Hospitals and medical practitioners can conduct scans and store them in Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) using their existing infrastructure. They can then make use of Singular Health’s software to plan and design patient-specific surgical implants.

This has all been made possible through some savvy acquisitions and investments made by the SHG management team.

New capabilities for medical imaging

In May 2021, Singular Health launched its Scan to Surgery initiative on the back of a major investment into 3D printing specialist Australian Additive Engineering (AAE), as well as the full buyout of the Virtual Surgical Planning (VSP) software from VR Surgical.

These investments mean SHG can offer medical practitioners the full range of Scan to Surgery services through a single piece of software.

For example, a practitioner can use the Volumetric Rendering Platform and SHG’s artificial intelligence (AI) driven tech to create accurate 3D virtual models of existing scans stored in a PACS server.

The practitioner can then segment the most important parts of the scan and use the VSP technology to design patient-specific medical implants. From here, the practitioner can have this implant 3D printed at the AAE facility and delivered to the site of the surgery.

The implications of this vertically integrated, end-to-end medical solution are huge for the healthcare market.

SHG’s tech platform and Scan to Surgery initiative streamline the process for medical practitioners and hospital workers, while creating a faster, more detailed and more effective outcome for patients.

Patient experience: the next healthcare movement

As healthcare advances and treatments become more effective, people are living longer. According to data from the United Nations, global median life expectancy rose to 72.6 years in 2019, higher than in any country back in 1950.

Further, the the planet’s total population more than tripled from 1950 to 2019 — from 2.5 billion to 7.7 billion.

While a higher life expectancy is of course the ultimate goal of healthcare, it presents a new set of challenges: with a larger geriatric population and a growing burden of chronic diseases, increased demand for treatment is pushing costs higher while diminishing patient experience.

Consultancy firm KPMG has said that positive patient experiences are one of the most important things a healthcare provider can deliver.

What’s more, Grand View Research estimated in February 2021 that the global patient engagement solutions market was worth US$15.1 billion in 2020 and expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.4 per cent through to 2028.

Technology such as SHG’s Scan to Surgery initiative is at the forefront of this issue.

Better 3D imaging means patients have a deeper understanding of their diagnosis and prescribed treatment.

Furthermore, the resulting tailor-made surgical implants fit the individual patient’s body more accurately, with the benefit of fewer surgical complications and better health outcomes.

This means Singular Health is not only revolutionising the medical imaging market and the surgery planning process, but accomplishing this in a way that is easing patients’ treatment burden.

SHG has a foot in the door of several important healthcare markets, with its streamlined and strategic technology making navigation of its solutions remarkably simple.

With shares trading around 32 cents each, Singular Health Group is in a unique position on the ASX to benefit from the opportunities in the developing medical imaging space.

SHG by the numbers
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