A healthcare innovation ETF has returned over 32% for the year as its constituents work at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The HAN-GINS Indxx Healthcare Innovation UCITS ETF (LON:WELL) tracks the Indxx Advanced Life Sciences & Smart Healthcare thematic index, which is designed to measure the performance of large, mid and small-cap companies listed in developed and emerging markets, including companies operating in vaccine research, supplying PPE materials, ventilators and other respiratory equipment.

A 1.03% gain in August followed a 7.33% in July and means for the year, the ETF is up 32.46%.

The strongest gains in August came from constituents iRhythm Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:IRTC), a healthcare tracker specialist, which was up 77%, and Silk Road Medical Inc (NASDAQ:SILK), a medical devices company focused on stroke risks that rose 31%.

In July the star was Korea’s diagnostics focused Seegene Inc, which soared 133%; diabetes and blood-pressure tracker Livongo Health Inc (NASDAQ:LVGO), which rose 69%; and Stockholm-listed immunomodulatory enzymes developer Hansa Biopharma, which climbed 54%.

Anthony Ginsberg, co-creator of the HAN-GINs Indxx Healthcare Innovation ETF, in partnership with HANetf, said: “As patients increasingly seek to avoid in-person medical help at hospitals and clinics, such remote tools facilitating virtual visits has skyrocketed in recent months.”

He also noted that some constituents of the index were benefiting from a boom in demand for medical devices and products such as PPE, respirators and ventilators). 

“With the US government’s Medicare insurance programme now reimbursing most telehealth services – this ensures remote/virtual medical care will become increasingly the norm for those preferring the convenience of home visits for regular check-ups where possible,” Ginsberg added.

“Post-COVID, analysts expect hospitals to shift a larger volume of patient care to telehealth. We expect digital health technologies to see accelerated adoption.

“Digital pharmacies should deliver opportunities for investors, and major ecommerce companies will likely speed up entry into the health-care marketplace.

“In the US, the telehealth market now has an anticipated five-year compound annual growth rate of 38.2%. This equates to a staggering seven-fold increase by 2025. Furthermore, telehealth, is anticipated to rise 64.3% in 2020, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report.

“This is an exciting time to be invested in healthcare innovation.”

HANetf is an independent provider of UCITS ETFs, working with asset management companies to launch thematic ETFs for European investors using its white-label ETF platform.

With Ginsberg it has also launched the HAN-GINS Cloud Technology UCITS ETF (LON:SKYY) and the HAN-GINS Tech Megatrend Equal Weight UCITS ETF (LON:ITEK).