These healthcare shares could be great long term investments

One area of the market which I think has particularly bright long-term growth prospects is the healthcare sector.

Due to a combination of growing and ageing populations, better treatments, and increased chronic disease burden, I expect the sector to experience strong organic growth over the next couple of decades.

I think this makes it a great place to look for buy and hold options. Three that tick a lot of boxes for me are listed below:

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Last month this hearing solutions company continued its strong form and posted a 10% increase in net profit after tax to $245.8 million. I expect more of the same in FY 2019 and beyond thanks to its exposure to the ageing populations trend. As populations around the world age, demand for hearing products is expected to grow strongly. And with Cochlear’s industry-leading products sold in over 100 countries worldwide, I think it is in a great position to benefit from this tailwind.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

This global biotech star is one of my favourite healthcare shares on the local share market and a great buy and hold option. Due to the quality of its management team, its growing plasma collection network, strong core business, lucrative pipeline of products, and fast-growing influenza business, I believe CSL can continue growing its earnings at an above-average rate for a long time to come. In my opinion this makes it worth paying a premium to own its shares.

Volpara Health Technologies Ltd (ASX: VHT)

Investors that are interested in small cap shares may want to check out this healthcare technology company. Volpara Health Technologies is a breast imaging analytics and analysis software specialist which really caught the eye in FY 2018. It grew its annual recurring revenues (ARR) by a massive 223% thanks to the growing popularity of its product. During the 12 months the company grew its share of the U.S. breast screening market to 3.7%. Pleasingly, management isn’t resting on its laurels and aims to grow its share to 9% by the end of FY 2019. I expect this to lead to further growth in its ARR, especially if it continues to see improvements in its price per screen metric.

Finally, here are three more shares that could be great buy and hold investments.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended VOLPARA FPO NZ. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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