Market Overview

3 Healthcare Companies To Watch In 2014


In a continually changing healthcare landscape, two factors will define the next generation of market leaders: ability to innovate and untapped market potential. And while the importance of innovation and understanding one's potential may seem obvious in other sectors, innovation is as novel to healthcare as the Model T was to automotive. 


Here are three companies that are changing the game (or have the potential) and deserve a closer look in 2014:

1. Athena Health (NASDAQ: ATHN) - Ability to Innovate

At the top of my list for 2014 is Athena Health. Athena Health offers some of the industry’s most innovative cloud based services, including an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system and Practice Management System (PMS) that blow Epic and Cerner (NASDAQ: CERN) out of the water in terms of creativity and foresight. Their recent acquisition of Epocrates (NASDAQ: EPOC), a mobile diagnostic tool, has further distinguished Athena as a leader in healthcare innovation and provider resources.

If their world class offerings, and eye for innovation isn’t enough to convince you of Athena’s growth potential, their founder & CEO Jonathan Bush and co-founder Todd Park, CTO of the United States, will certainly do the trick. Both are thought leaders in the Health IT space, and have a keen eye for true innovation and the direction this sector is heading.

(see Jonathan Bush at TEDMED 2013 here)

2. Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) - Untapped Market Potential

Premier Inc. has been on my list since it successful launched its IPO this past September. Premier is the nation’s largest healthcare group purchasing organization, with over 2,900 hospitals and 100,000 additional sites. However, it is their access to continually replenishing data sets from these hospitals that makes Premier a company to watch in 2014. Big data is healthcare’s hottest commodity, and while Premier has utilized some of this data, it has far from maximized its market potential.

3. Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) - Innovation & Future Market Potential

Intuitive Surgical, a leader in surgical robotics, hasn’t had the best year. Falling share prices, cost cutting across the sector and concerns about the safety of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci system have all raised investor concerns. While it’s uncertain if Intuitive Surgical will see a full rebound in 2014, its time in the spotlight is coming. In a capitated model, quality outcomes is a #1 concern for our hospital systems and as these systems are forced to cut costs while simultaneously improving quality, telemedicine and robotic solutions will lead the charge. Telemedicine consultations, and someday tele-surgery will reduce both costs and errors via standardization, automation, and remote placement. It’s just a matter of time before surgical robotics becomes a standard.  


(This article addresses non-pharmaceutical, healthcare companies)

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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