Bill Gates Has Big Plans for the Future of Healthcare – From an HIV Vaccine to Eradicating Malaria, Here's How the Billionaire Is Reshaping Healthcare
Bill Gates rose to prominence during the internet’s early growth stages and the dot-com boom. His company, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), became a big player in the tech scene in the early 1980s and launched its initial public offering (IPO) in 1986.
Today, the tech giant is worth nearly $2 trillion, and Gates has a net worth of over $104 billion. Microsoft helped Gates hold the title of the world's richest man from 1995 to 2017, with the exception of 2010 to 2013.
Gates has mostly retired from the company but still holds much of his fortune. As such, the billionaire has turned to philanthropy and started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the mission “to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.”
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While the organization funds a number of causes it funds, one of the most prominent areas it invests in and develops is healthcare. Healthcare can be especially lucrative, as the market is massive, and it’s an essential part of every human's basic needs. If a startup cracks the code to a problem, the idea can be worth billions.
That’s why venture capitalists (VCs), billionaires like Gates and retail investors have flocked to the space and invested billions. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has continually pushed into the space, and retail investors are investing in innovative startups. Sensate, for example, has raised over $2.2 million from retail investors for its patented stress relief device and has some pretty big names backing it.
As for Gates, he has set a number of goals and made bold predictions. The billionaire expects a vaccine for HIV by 2030 and has set his sights on completely eradicating malaria. To do this, he regularly invests in new and innovative startups and technologies in the $12 trillion global healthcare industry.
The Gates Foundation website notes a few examples of its projects, including a low-cost supplement to breast milk using DNA encoding to introduce protection against viruses like Zika and HIV and engineering B-cells to serve as universal donor cells. He also dedicated over $2 billion to fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic and looks to end deaths from pneumonia using vaccines and antibiotic treatments.
The foundation spends roughly $6.6 billion per year. As of December 2021, it had more than $53.3 billion to achieve its goals. Gates has said he plans to donate most of his wealth to charity, so most of his $100 billion personal fortune will fund the foundation for decades to come.
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